Credit Repair and Trade Lines: Commonly Unreported Accounts

Credit repair can be a challenging goal, one best aided with the right information. When you are fighting to raise your credit score, positive trade lines are critical. The problem: What if the credit bureaus aren’t receiving the whole story? While you may be paying your bills on time, the credit bureaus cannot reward good behavior if your lenders never report it. The good news? You have the power to fix this problem. Read on to learn about some commonly overlooked issues. A little attention will have you on your way to fast credit repair.

1. Rent.

Homeowners usually benefit from a well-maintained mortgage. Major lenders are quick to report new trade lines to the bureaus. On the other hand, renters could be receiving a less-than-swift credit boost. If you are renting from a management company or a single owner, ask about their credit reporting policies. Smaller entities may not report to the bureaus on a regular basis. Try to reap the benefits of your own responsible behavior, and ask your landlord to report your timely payments. While they may or may not be able to honor your request, you’ll never know (or potentially benefit) unless you ask.

2. Goodwill fixes.

Communicating with your creditors is the best way to maintain a healthy credit score. Consider the following example:

Mike missed a car payment last year because he was admitted to the hospital unexpectedly. Although he corrected the oversight, a negative citation still appeared on his credit report. Mike contacted the dealership and explained the situation. He highlighted his positive relationship with the company and his track record of current payments. Based on this information, he asked the dealership to have the citation removed from his credit report.

Mike’s strategy is a good one as long as it works. Many creditors will agree to a goodwill removal without following through with their end of the deal. If a negative citation lingers after your polite request, you may want to consider engaging the services of a credit repair law firm for assistance in formulating a follow-up.

3. Extended credit limits.

Extending your credit limits is a quick and effective way to raise your credit score. Consider Jane’s predicament:

Jane recently accepted a better job, one that requires her to move across the country. Although her new company has agreed to reimburse her relocation expenses, she is expected to cover the initial costs. She budgets $8,000 in airfare and moving expenses and decides to charge most of it to her credit cards. She calls her lenders and asks them to extend her credit card limits.

Jane has made a conscious and responsible choice. Extending her credit limits ensures a lower credit utilization ratio, or the amount she owes vs. her total credit limits. She also takes the final step in credit protection by verifying that the change is reported to the credit bureaus. Without the correct information, Jane’s forethought could be met with a lower credit score if the bureaus think that she is maxing out her credit cards.

The bottom line: Accurate information breeds accurate results. Enhance your credit repair efforts by ensuring that the credit bureaus are furnished with all the facts. Why miss the opportunity to achieve a better credit score?