Report Advice
What you need to know about this crucial financial document

The difference between default and bankruptcy

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Which is the lesser of two evils, bankruptcy or default?

– DBU

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Credit report may be hurt by joint lease, utilities with roommates

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My daughter is in the process of looking for a new apartment and obtained a copy of her credit report. She found her credit is “fair.” She also found her roommate’s name, Social Security number, rental history and other information listed on the report. This was quite shocking to my daughter. She is very upset. They each signed a year’s lease which expired a few months, ago. They are now on a month-to-month basis. She knows her roommate is frequently delinquent on her bills. In particular, she knows this is true in regard to their monthly rent. My daughter pays her portion on time.

Why is my daughter’s roommate listed on my daughter’s credit report? What part of the roommate’s financial life, if any, comes into play on my daughter’s credit score? How long will the roommate’s financial history and habits reflect on my daughter’s report? How can my daughter become a single entity as far as her credit is concerned?

– RBH

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Settling accounts will hurt credit scores

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have an unsecured loan of $10,000 and the loan company has offered me a settlement of $5,000. It I take this settlement, will it affect my credit score?

– TPF

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There is no limit on the number of credit cards you can have

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

How many credit cards can I have? I have eight credit cards. I opened all of them within the last year (total $6,500), plus a loan for a car ($16,000). I am a housewife. My husband pays all my bills on time, but he keeps asking me to get new credit cards. I wonder if it’s damaging my credit history or my credit score. Also, is it shown on my credit report if I apply for a credit card and I do not get approved?

– ARY

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Paying credit card debt with an installment loan

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Do I save money if I pay my credit cards off with a loan that has a lower APR with a fixed installment payment, or is it better to continue to pay the highest APR credit card until it is paid?

– MYR

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Husbands and wives each have their own credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a car. I just printed out my credit report from Experian. Should my husband check his as well? Should we buy a copy of our credit scores as well before we shop for a car? Since we live in a community property state, do we share a credit score? Also, how will purchasing a car affect our credit score? We will be buying a pre-owned vehicle. This is the first time I’ve gotten a copy of my credit report.

– YPE

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Fraud security alerts can slow mortgage approval

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently placed a 90-day fraud security alert on my credit history though Experian. Will that affect my ability to be approved for a mortgage?
– ITR

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Reporting utility bill payments will be beneficial to consumers

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I got my credit report recently and was shocked to find that all of my monthly obligations were not listed, making my score very low. I pay my utility bills, Internet service provider, merchandise shipping contracts, telephone, cable television, and rent on time every month, and I have an open Paypal/Ebay account. If these were listed I am sure that my report would look more favorable. How can I get these items onto my reports so that a future lenders looking at my credit profile for a home loan will know that I am an honest hard working person, paying her obligations as agreed?

– DST

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How a minor may have a credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am teaching a class at a local high school about credit fraud. A teacher mentioned to me that her daughter, who is under 12 years of age, has credit according to one of the credit reporting companies. How is this possible?

– RDE

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Debt management plans and your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Companies can negotiate with credit card companies and reduce your interest rate. They close your cards and you pay them a flat amount each month that goes towards your cards. How does this affect your credit?

– YST

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The information contained in Ask Experian is 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. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. 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 post.