Why Some Accounts Don't Appear on Your Credit Report

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In a close look at your credit report, you may be surprised to find that there are accounts that don’t appear. You may see accounts on your credit report from one bureau that don’t appear on the other two. Or there may be accounts that don’t appear on any of your credit reports from the major credit bureaus.

The Account Was Too Old to Be Reported

The account may have dropped off your credit report either because the credit reporting time limit passed.

Or, the credit bureau’s internal reporting time limit for that type of account expired. Accounts closed in poor standing, i.e. you were delinquent when the account was closed, will fall off your credit report after seven years. Other closed accounts will fall off your credit report after 10 years or so, depending on how long the credit bureau chooses to report these types of accounts.

The Business Doesn’t Report to That Credit Bureau

In the credit reporting world, businesses decide which (if not all) of the three credit bureaus they’re going to subscribe to. Your account will not appear on your credit report if the business doesn’t subscribe to a particular credit bureau.

The Business Doesn’t Report to Any Credit Bureau

The account may not be a traditional credit account. Accounts like utilities, cable services, telephone, water, etc. fall into this category. Depending on the company, some utilities may report to the credit bureaus, but they’re not required to do so.

Unfortunately, delinquent accounts are reported even when regular timely payments are not. So it’s important to pay on time even if you don’t see the account on your credit report.

Many rent payments don’t appear on renters’ credit reports, especially if you’re renting from a smaller landlord. Accounts with larger property management companies are more likely to appear on either your Experian or TransUnion credit report.

Historically, rent payments haven’t shown up on credit reports – except in cases of severe delinquency – so don’t be surprised if your rental history isn’t on your credit report.

How Unreported Accounts Impact Your Credit Score

Credit scores are calculated based only on what appears on your credit report at the time the credit score is generated. It does not consider what used to be on your credit report. If the account never appeared on your credit report, there should be no change to your credit score. However, you may be missing out on a potential credit score boost from timely payments on an account.

On the other hand, your credit score could rise or fall (relative to the last time you checked your score) if an account falls off your credit report. It’s hard to predict which way your credit score will go because it depends on the account that falls off and all the other information on your credit report.

Businesses aren’t required to report to the credit bureaus; it’s strictly voluntary. If an account isn’t showing on your credit report and you think it should be, contact the business to find out their credit reporting policies. There may have been a mistake with your account.