How to Report Payments to a Credit Bureau

Credit-reporting agencies track data shared by creditors that define a company’s experience with a consumer. But creditors are not required to report information, and in some instances cannot. Creditors must subscribe to credit bureau services to report payment histories, according to Experian. In addition, some states prohibit some types of payments—including utilities, cellular services or rental payments, for example. You can contact your creditors and each credit bureau to request timely reporting.

Order your credit reports. Contact the major reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—to request a copy of your credit report. You may be eligible to receive a free report by visiting or contacting each agency directly. Otherwise, credit reports typically cost a nominal fee. See the Resource section for links to each bureau.

Review your credit reports. Once you receive each report, carefully review and compare each account. You may find that your payment history has been updated. If not, take note of each account you would like to report.

Contact each creditor. Contact your creditors via telephone and request that they begin reporting your account payments immediately. Inform the representative you will follow the discussion with a confirmation letter. Draft a letter to each creditor that includes the following information: a copy of the credit bureau account reporting, your contact information, your request for immediate reporting and your signature.

Contact the credit bureaus to request an update to your file. Provide a letter requesting the bureau add the accounts in question. Provide proof of your last 12 months of payment history. For example, provide copies of canceled checks for your rental or mortgage payments.

Monitor your credit reports. Continue reviewing your credit reports for the next three to six months. Confirm the presence of your updated account information.