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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.
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Topics addressed on April 25, 2012:
New credit card not appearing in your credit report
I have had a new credit card since December. They state that they are reporting to the credit bureau but I see no record of it. How can I get this card on my credit report to help my scores?
The first thing to do is check with the lender to confirm which credit reporting company or companies it reports its accounts.
The credit reporting system in the United States is voluntary. While Experian would very much like every lender to report its accounts to our reports, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not require businesses to report to all three national credit reporting companies. Instead, businesses can report to one, two or all three of them, or not report your accounts at all.
In order for a business to report your accounts, it must become an Experian subscriber. That means it must meet the FCRA’s legal requirements and meet Experian’s confirmation that it is a viable business which contractually agrees to fulfill the legal, technical and contractual requirements for gaining access to reports and reporting data. If a business chooses not to become a subscriber to Experian’s services and maintain that relationship, Experian has no way to contact it regarding the account to keep it current or to verify its accuracy in case of a dispute.
In rare instances, a technical issue may prevent an account from being shown on your credit report, even if the lender is providing the information to Experian.
In some cases, the account is temporarily not shown, for example when two companies are merging. The account may be removed from the credit report at the request of the business until it completes consolidation of its records. That helps ensure the account information is consolidated correctly so that the information is not shown incorrectly on your credit report.
In those instances, the account information will be restored automatically.
Most of the time, however, an account is “missing” because the business has chosen not to report your account to Experian. Because there is no contractual relationship between Experian and the business, Experian has no ability to add the account.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team