Credit Advice

Ask Experian has been answering readers’ questions for more than 15 years. Hosted by Rod Griffin, Experian’s Director of Public Education. Ask Experian responses draw on the knowledge of Experian’s experts in credit reporting, credit scoring, direct marketing, automotive history, identity theft and other areas from across the company. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. For more information see the footer below.

Can Creditors Garnish My Wages?

July 20, 2017

Dear Experian, Can a creditor still garnish your wages even though the account is showing “closed” on my credit report? The account shows as, “Charged off as bad debt....

Can I Remove Negative but Accurate Information from My Credit Report?

July 18, 2017

Dear Experian, I have a debt from a department store credit card. It was charged off a few months ago. I have the money to pay it now. I...

How Long Does It Take for a Repossession to Come off Your Credit?

July 13, 2017

Dear Experian, I am a graduate student with no income. I have a car payment that hasn't been paid in two months, and now they want to repossess it. I...

What Does It Mean to Default on a Loan?

July 11, 2017

Dear Experian, I had student loans in default that have now been consolidated and brought current through another company earlier this year. All student loans are still reporting as...

Can I Negotiate with Debt Collectors?

July 6, 2017

Dear Experian, I have two charge offs on my credit report from two different credit cards. Is it possible to get the credit card companies to remove the charge...

How Long After Getting My First Credit Account Will a Score Be Created?

June 29, 2017

Dear Experian, I am an international student. It was very difficult for me to get a credit card application approved even after getting a job and getting a Social...

I Am Having Trouble Answering the Online Security Questions. What Should I Do?

June 27, 2017

Dear Experian, I cannot access my credit report online. I was asked several security questions about accounts I did not recognize. I have the form to request the report...

How Do I Report Identity Theft?

June 22, 2017

Dear Experian, How do I add a fraud statement to my credit report? I want to warn creditors that I have recently been a victim of identity theft and...

What Happens to Debt When I Die?

June 20, 2017

Dear Experian, In the event of a family member or spouse’s death, who becomes responsible for the deceased’s debt? What if there is no insurance or money left by...

What Should I Do if I Don’t Recognize a Creditor on My Credit Report?

June 15, 2017

Dear Experian, I have two items on my credit report that I am not familiar with. I do not know what these entries are for. What should I do?...

When Does the 7 Year Rule Begin For Delinquent Accounts?

June 13, 2017

Dear Experian, I had a 30-day late payment in April 2011 and one 90 days late in September of 2011. When would the seven-year rule start? April or September?...

How Can I Tell if a Debt Collector is Legitimate?

June 8, 2017

Dear Experian, On my credit report it states that there is an open account for more than $400 to a company I have never heard of. I searched the...

What is a Creditor?

June 6, 2017

Dear Experian, I received a letter from Experian today stating that within the last 30 days, changes to my name, address, or Social Security number were reported to you...

What is a Grace Period?

June 1, 2017

Dear Experian, If you make payments within the grace period, does that affect your credit report? – TWB Dear TWB, A grace period is a set amount of time...

Is My Credit Report Supposed to Show My Closed Accounts?

May 23, 2017

Dear Experian, Should closed and paid off accounts be taken off my report or does that not matter? – JOM Dear JOM, Even though an account is paid off...