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

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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Why previous names appear on your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am married for a second time. Can having my maiden name and two married names negatively affect my credit score? My “middle” score is 780 but I am trying to improve to 800 plus.

– TEV

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When roommates don’t pay their share of the rent

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I’m a college student, and today I was given an eviction notice because my roommates didn’t pay their rent on time. I was wondering what happens if they pay the amount they owe before our court date. Does it still go on my credit score? Do I have any options because I paid my rent on time?

– STO

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Using secured credit cards to improve credit history

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What is your opinion about using secured credit cards to improve credit history, especially if there is no current history (last entries were in 2004)?

– PAS

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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.