How to Report Payment History to Credit Bureaus

How to Report Payment History to Credit Bureaus loading="lazy"
Dear Experian,

For a number of years I have attempted to correct my credit report to show my current mortgage, which is in good standing. No matter what I do, it never shows up. I am very frustrated. Any suggestions?

- JLM

Dear JLM,

Today, there are several types of payment information you can have added to your credit report. Unfortunately, in order for your mortgage account to be included in your credit history, it must be reported by your lender. As an individual, you cannot submit your own mortgage account information to be added to your credit report.

It's not clear from your question whether the mortgage is with a large bank or mortgage lender, or if it's with a small bank or perhaps even privately funded. While most major banks and financial institutions do report to the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), the law does not require them to do so. Some lenders may choose to report to only one or two of the three bureaus, and others may choose not to report at all. If the mortgage is privately funded, it likely will not be reported.

Contact Your Mortgage Lender and Ask if They Report to Experian

If your mortgage account does not appear on your credit report, the first thing you should do is contact your mortgage company and ask them if they report to Experian. If your lender confirms that they do report to Experian, you can request that they contact their Experian representative for help in determining why the account is not appearing in your report. Ask them to review the identifying information on the account to ensure that the account is being reported under the correct name and Social Security number.

You also can contact Experian and explain the situation so that it can be researched. You can reach Experian by phone at 888-EXPERIAN, or by mail at:

Experian
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013

Simply explain that you have an account that's not appearing on your report and that the lender has verified it is in fact being reported. Be sure to include your complete identification number, including your Social Security number, so that Experian can locate your credit information.

Unfortunately, if your lender does not report, you won't be able to have your account added. When you apply for credit in the future, ask the lender if they report account history to one or more of the national credit reporting companies. If they don't, you might consider applying elsewhere to ensure your positive account payments help you build a strong credit history.

What Types of Payments Can I Report to Credit Bureaus?

Although you cannot self-report traditional credit account information to the credit reporting companies, there are types of payments you can request to have added to your Experian credit history:

  • Rental payments: If you rent a home or apartment, your landlord or property management company can report your on-time rental payments to your Experian credit report through Experian RentBureau. You can also choose to enroll in a third-party rent payment service that will report your payments at your request. Having positive rent payments reported to Experian can be especially helpful for people who are trying to establish their credit history for the first time or who are trying to rebuild after credit difficulties.
  • Cellphone, utility and streaming service payments: By signing up with Experian Boost , you can add your positive cellphone, utility and streaming service payments to your Experian credit report going back up to 24 months. Adding this payment information can instantly boost your Experian credit score.

How Does Positive Payment History Impact Your Credit?

Payment history is the biggest factor in credit scores, so paying your bills on time, every time is the most important thing you can do to build a strong credit history.

By making all your payments on time, you are showing lenders that you know how to manage your finances responsibly and are therefore more likely to repay any future debts on time as well. Even if you've had late payments in the past, bringing any past-due accounts current and making all your payments on time going forward is key to improving your credit.

If you are just starting to establish your credit, it can take time to build a solid history of positive payments. Here some tips to help you begin building your credit history:

  • Apply for a credit card. If you don't already have one, it's a good idea to open a credit card account. Credit cards provide lenders with a lot of insight into how you manage debt because they allow you the freedom to decide how much to charge and how much to repay each month. If you are unable to qualify for a traditional card on your own, consider opening a secured card. If you make every payment on time, the lender may eventually convert the account to a traditional credit card.
  • Ask a family member to cosign. If you have a family member with great credit who is willing to cosign for a credit card or installment loan with you, this can be a great way to begin establishing credit in your name. Keep in mind that any missed payments will also go on your cosigner's credit report, hurting their credit scores as well as yours.
  • Ask someone to add you as an authorized user. Another option is to become an authorized user on a friend or family member's account. As an authorized user, you can use the card to make purchases, but you are not responsible for making payments. If the lender reports authorized user accounts to the credit bureaus, being added to the account can help you begin building credit—as long as the primary user manages their account responsibly.
  • Sign up for Experian Boost. As noted above, this service allows you to have your on-time monthly utility, cellphone and streaming service payments added to your credit report. It can be especially beneficial to those with thin credit files or those with credit scores below 680.

What to Do if Payments Are Inaccurately Reported

If you have reviewed your Experian credit report and believe there is information being reported inaccurately, there are two steps you should take:

  • Speak to the lender that is reporting the information. Contact your lender to notify them that you believe they are reporting information incorrectly. If they agree with you, they can contact Experian to correct the information.
  • Contact Experian to submit a dispute. The quickest way to dispute information on your Experian credit report is online via Experian's Dispute Center. Experian will contact the lender on your behalf and notify them of your dispute. The dispute process can take up to 30 days, and you will be notified when the results are ready.

Thanks for asking.
Jennifer White, Consumer Education Specialist