Impact of inquires from utilities, cable TV, rent, and cell phones on credit scores

Dear Experian,

How do inquiries from utility, cable television/internet, cellular telephone and residential rentals impact credit scores since payment histories are never reported?



Dear MDB,

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

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