Credit Advice

Late payments in Brazil won’t affect U.S. credit report

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Credit Advice

Late payments in Brazil won’t affect U.S. credit report

Dear Experian,

I am an American that has lived and worked overseas for the last four years in Brazil. Now I am living and working back in the United States. Recently, I realized that some charges were made on an account I left open on my credit card from a local bank in Brazil. The bank contacted me about this delinquent balance and stated that they will send my information to Serasa, which is the credit bureau in Brazil. I am worried that this will influence my credit score here. Will over seas account information show up on credit reports in the U.S.?

- CCH

Dear CCH,

Your credit history in Brazil will not have any impact on your credit history in the United States. Credit reports do not cross national borders.

Experian recently purchased controlling interest in Serasa, which is the Brazilian credit reporting company. But the information it collects and maintains will not be shared with Experian’s credit reporting company in the United States, or its other credit reporting operations in other parts of the world.

Credit reporting systems are very unique to the countries in which they operate. Brazilian laws governing credit reporting are quite different from those in the United States, making it difficult, if not impossible to share information between the systems.

The information maintained is also very different. Serasa’s credit reports contain only negative information. Unlike in the U.S., where both positive and negative information is reported, a person in Brazil only has a Serasa credit report if they have late payments or other derogatory activity.

Those differences in the kinds of information in the credit reports from Brazil and the U.S. also make it difficult, if not impossible, to transfer information from one report to the other.

The bottom line is that the Serasa credit reporting system is in no way linked to Experian’s U.S. credit reporting system, so the account cannot appear on your report here.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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