Credit Report FAQ’s

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August 16, 2019
Credit Report FAQ’s

Image Copyright Ted Grussing Photography – Used with permission

Over the past few weeks we have helped you understand how your credit score is calculated, provided tips on how to maintain a healthy score and alerted you to some of the tricks identity thieves use to get your personal information.

Finally, let’s take a last swipe at this subject with some Frequently Asked Questions that you might find interesting.

  • Can checking my report too frequently negatively impact my score?
    • Most of us now know this is not true. But, it does bring up a useful distinction.  Inquiries made by you are “soft inquiries” and do not count against your credit; it is the “hard inquiries” by a lender or a creditor that slightly lower your score.
  • Does paying off a negative record mean that it is taken off my credit report?
    • Negative records, like collection accounts and late payments, will stay on your report for up to seven years, so paying them off early doesn’t erase your delinquent history.
  • When paying off a collection agency, should I pay the collection agency or the original creditor?
    • Always pay the collection agency. Once it’s gone to that status, most creditors are done.
  • Do tax liens affect my credit score?
    • In April 2018, tax liens were taken off credit reports, so now they won’t change your score. However, you still must pay off your tax debt, as mortgage lenders still look at tax liens.
  • Do I have a credit report if I don’t have credit cards?
    • Any type of credit can start a credit report. Examples of records you may not realize include in-store credit accounts and public debts such as back-child support or alimony.
  • If I have a family member or a friend authorized on my credit card, does he or she build credit history?
    • If someone needs help creating a credit history because they cannot get any credit, this can be a helping hand to them.  An authorized user is not the same as a cosigner or a joint account holder.
  • If I lease my car, how does that affect my credit score?
    • Leasing your vehicle can help raise your score, but only if you make on-time payments. However, if you were to pay off your lease early, you could hurt your score.  Sticking to the terms of the lease and making on-time payments is the way to improve your credit.
  • How can I get inquiries removed from my credit report that I did not make?
    • Contact the bureaus directly to dispute any such inquiries.