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.

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...

How Does Being an Authorized User Affect My Credit Score?

May 18, 2017

Dear Experian, How does being an authorized user affect my credit? The account is in good standing and has a long history, but a high — 85 percent —...

What Is a Credit Builder Loan?

May 16, 2017

Dear Experian, My credit score is very low. I have no credit history other than recent hospital bills on my credit report. I get denied for everything: bank loans,...

How Do I Deal with Debt Collectors?

May 11, 2017

Dear Experian, How should I deal with debt collectors? I have seen on other blogs that once the third party debt collector contacts you it starts the seven-year period...

How Can I Get Inquiries Deleted from My Report?

May 9, 2017

Dear Experian, I have 19 inquiries on my credit report from Experian. I have been declined for credit cards three to four times in the recent past. The reason...

Can You Build Credit with a Debit Card?

May 4, 2017

Dear Experian, I’m trying to establish a positive credit history. I’ve been paying my power bill and my telecommunications, internet and cable bills on time every month for over...

Does Opening a Credit Card Hurt Your Score?

May 2, 2017

Dear Experian, I have one credit card that I use as my main card most of the time. I also have two airline cards that I rarely use. I’m...

Does An Overdraft Hurt Your Credit?

April 27, 2017

Dear Experian, My bank closed my account due to more than $400 in overdraft fees. I paid all I owe and re-opened my account. Will this hurt my credit?...

What to Do If You Cannot Access Your Online Credit Report

April 25, 2017

Dear Experian, A friend of mine has been out of prison for five months and is trying to get his credit report. He has his identification card and Social...

What Is the Highest Credit Score Possible?

April 20, 2017

Dear Experian, My credit score is excellent, but I want the highest score that is available. What is the highest credit score possible? – BHB Dear BHB, The highest...