The three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – receive information about your financial activities from various creditors. The credit bureaus then compile the information into important credit reports that other companies can view. Knowing what kinds of companies report on your activities might prove beneficial as you manage your finances and work to build a positive credit score.
Retailers, lenders, utilities companies, housing organizations, medical facilities and collection agencies all report information to the credit bureaus.
Retailers that extend revolving credit to you in the form of a store credit card will report the activities associated with the credit account to the credit bureaus. If you make timely payments, this positive information becomes a part of your credit report. Reports about late or skipped payments also become a negative part of your credit report. Your payment history accounts for about 35 percent of your overall score. Positive information will stay on your credit report indefinitely, as long as you keep an account open. If you close an account with positive notations, the information will stay on your report for 10 years from the date you close the account. Negative information will usually stay on your credit report for seven years.
Any lender that extends credit to you, such as a bank, credit union or savings and loan, will report the account to the credit bureaus. The type of loan could be a secured loan, such as an auto loan or a mortgage. The loan could also be an unsecured loan such as a credit card or personal loan. The lender will report neutral, positive and negative information to the credit bureaus. An example of neutral information could be the balance you carry on a loan. Depending on the balance, it might be neutral information, or it could be negative if your balance is high. Your total debt makes up about 30 percent of your credit score.
Utilities and Housing
Utilities and housing will not give your credit score a boost, but these companies do have the ability to give it a hit if you miss payments. If you stay current with your gas bill, electric bill, telephone bill, cell phone bill and rent, these companies won’t report anything to the credit bureaus. If you allow your accounts with these companies to go past due, negative information will show up on your credit reports.
If you accrue a medical debt that requires monthly payments, a physician or hospital will not report your regular payments as positive credit to the credit bureaus. If you fall behind in payments, however, these companies may report you to the credit bureaus as well as assign your debt to a collection agency for collection.
If you fall far enough behind on a bill or a loan, the original company might turn your account over to a collection agency. Both the original creditor and the collection agency will report the debt to the credit bureaus as a delinquent account in collection. If the collection agency files a civil action against you, it will also file information about the action and any subsequent judgments with the credit bureaus.