Do Bank Accounts Affect Credit Reports?

Quick Answer

Bank transactions and account balances do not affect credit reports; they are not reported to the national credit bureaus and cannot appear on your credit reports at all. However, unpaid bank fees or penalties turned over to collection agencies will appear on your credit reports and can hurt your credit scores.

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Transaction information for traditional bank accounts is not usually reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax)and does not appear on your credit reports. Your account balance information also won't impact your score.

On the other hand, unpaid bank fees or penalties turned over to collection agencies will appear on your credit reports and hurt your credit scores. Here's what you need to know.

What Does Appear on Credit Reports—and What Never Will

Here's an overview of what does and what does not appear on your credit reports.

Included on Credit Reports

  • Personal information: This is information you've provided when applying for or receiving credit. It could include: any names you've gone by, current and past addresses, current and past employers, and your birth date.
  • Current debts: Details on the amounts you still owe on open loans, and all outstanding credit card balances.
  • Payment history: Each payment you've made on open loans and credit card accounts will be listed, detailed by month and including indications of whether payments were made on time or if they were 30, 60 or 90 days late.
  • Closed accounts: Your credit reports will list payment history and other details of loans you've paid off and credit accounts you've closed in the past 10 years. If a closed account has negative information associated with it, such as late payments, it will remain on your credit report for seven years.
  • Recent credit applications: If a lender conducted a credit check in connection with a loan or credit card application you made in the past two years, a record of that (known as a hard inquiry) will appear on your credit reports.
  • Collections: Details on any unpaid bills turned over to collection agencies within the past seven years are listed on credit reports.
  • Bankruptcy: If you've filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past 10 years, or a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the past seven years, it will appear on your credit reports.

Never Found on Credit Reports

  • Income or net worth
  • Race, religion or ethnicity
  • Marital status
  • Employment status
  • Level of education
  • Bank balances

Credit Consequences of Unpaid Bank Fees

In most cases, bank accounts do not share information about your accounts with credit bureaus. But it's important to note that mishandling a bank account can cause negative entries to appear on your credit reports. If you abandon an account that's overdrawn or has unpaid fees, your bank or credit union could turn the amount you owe over to a collection agency, and collection agencies typically do report their accounts to credit bureaus. A collection account on your credit reports has the potential to affect your credit scores for seven years from the original late payment.

If the amount you owe your financial institution is too small for a collection agency to pursue, you might avoid a negative credit report entry, but there can still be negative consequences to mismanaging your account. Many banks and credit unions report delinquent accounts to an information clearinghouse called ChexSystems, and they also consult ChexSystems before opening new accounts. If your name comes up on a ChexSystems report, you'll have to clear up your account before you can open a new account.

See for Yourself What's on Your Credit Report

Checking your credit report regularly is a good habit: It allows you to spot and address any information appearing in your credit records you believe to be incorrect. It can also help you detect unauthorized use of your personal information to apply for or open loans or credit card accounts.

When you make an Experian account, you can get your free Experian credit report, with monthly updates, along with a monthly FICO® Score and monitoring of your Experian credit reports.