Do you have a question about consumer credit? You may find an immediate answer by using the search engine. If you can't find what you're looking for, please fill out the form, being as specific as possible.
Please note: The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future column.
The information contained in this column if for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation.
Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Column responses reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived responses may not reflect current Experian policy.
Topics addressed on November 23, 2011:
Impact of inquires from utilities, cable TV, rent, and cell phones on credit scores
How do inquiries from utility, cable television/internet, cellular telephone and residential rentals impact credit scores since payment histories are never reported?
The inquiries are scored because they are an indication that you may have taken on new financial obligations that could impact your ability to manage additional new debt. Like all inquiries, they have minimal impact on credit scores, and that impact is even less after 3 to 6 months.
You are correct that in most cases positive payment of utility, cable television, Internet service and telephone service bills is not reported. However, if you fail to make the payments for those services, the negative information may be reported in the form of a collection account.
So, even though on-time payments are not usually reported, it still benefits you to make those payments in full and as agreed.
Until recently, positive rent payment was not reported either. But that is changing. Earlier this year, Experian became the first national credit reporting company to report on-time rent payment history. The information is now available for inclusion in credit score calculations.
Not all credit scoring systems are able to incorporate positive rent payment information at this time, but Experian believes that will change with time.
Now, positive payment history can play a part in building a strong credit history. That can be especially important for people who are trying to establish credit for the first time, or who are trying to rebuild their credit history after a period of financial difficulty.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team