Retail credit card may appear under different name in credit report

Dear Experian,

I have two credit cards that are affiliated with private companies. Neither of these credit cards shows up on my credit report. Both have large limits with small balances. How can I get them added to my credit report, and thus improve my credit scores?



Dear AMC,

Often, a credit card account affiliated with a private company or retailer, is reported but does not show the name of the retailer. Instead, the accounts are reported by the lender the actually holds the account. Check your credit report and look for accounts under the bank’s name. You might find they are actually part of your report and you just overlooked them.

While Experian would very much like every lender to report its accounts, we are fully supportive of the fact that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not require businesses to report to all three national credit reporting companies. Instead, reporting information is voluntary, and businesses can choose to 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 choose to become an Experian subscriber. That means it must meet the FCRA’s legal reporting standards and Experian’s membership requirements, including complying with our standards for verifying the accuracy of their accounts when disputed by their customers. When it does so, your account will be added to your Experian report.

If a business chooses not to subscribe to Experian’s services, Experian has no way to contact it regarding the account.

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.

For example, an account may temporarily not appear 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, helping ensure the account information is consolidated correctly and subsequently appears correctly 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 relationship between Experian and the business, Experian has no ability to add the account.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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