Those reports impact your credit score, a three-digit number that can make a difference between getting approved for a loan at a favorable interest rate or paying a higher rate than you want. Moreover, a low credit score means that you could be turned down for a loan.
One factor that can drive down your score is personal debt. The greater the debt load, the more likely you’ll be saddled with a lower credit score. This means paying off at least one credit account to help improve your score. Once you do that, then your credit score will be adjusted accordingly. How fast that credit payoff is reported can vary by creditor, therefore you need to know when that has happened before applying for new credit.
Most creditors will update reports to credit bureaus on a monthly basis. Experian, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus outlines the process: “Most lenders report account updates to Experian only after payments have been posted for that billing statement. You have to allow time for the lenders to receive your payments, update their records, send the updates to Experian and for Experian to update its records. That can translate to as much as 30 to 45 days.” You’ll have to wait at least one billing cycle before checking your credit score, but two is preferred. Therefore, wait about 60 days after making payment to check your score to see if it reflects the payoff. Only then should you apply for new credit.
Reports and Scores
You can obtain your reports and scores directly from Experian, Equifax and Trans Union or visit MyFico.com. You are also entitled to receive one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus, something you can do by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. While on that site, you can obtain the separately offered credit score for a fee. You’ll pay approximately $5 to $8 to obtain your score.You’ll pay a fee for obtaining additonal copies of your credit reports, so use this to your advantage.
If upon obtaining your updated credit report you discover that the payoff hasn’t been reported or some other errors are present, then you have the right to dispute your report with the credit bureau. Keep in mind that all three bureaus gather and report data separately – errors on one report may not show up on other reports. Or, if errors are noted on two or three reports, you’ll need to notify each credit bureau separately. The process for disputing reports is published on each bureau’s site, offering phone numbers and mailing addresses to file your dispute. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureau has 30 days to resolve a dispute and are required to send to you written results of its investigation and an updated credit report at no charge. Once the disputes have cleared, then you should see an improvement in your credit score.
The paid off account will still show up on your credit report. Once it has been paid off, a “paid in full” notation should be included. However, if you were late or behind making payments, then this information will be reflected on your report. Negative, but correct information cannot be removed from your report regardless what anyone claims.
- John R. Ulzheimer
- Publisher: Credit.com Educational Services
- Paperback: 143 pages
- Richard Feinberg
- Brookings Institution Press
- Kindle Edition
- Billy Epperhart
- Publisher: Empowered Life
- Hardcover: 224 pages
Last update on 2019-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API