Your Credit Card and Your Credit ReportJune 14, 2011 - 9:37 am
When you apply for a credit card, it’s important to know that how you use that card will affect you in a big way. Most are reported to at least one of the three major credit bureaus. That means your credit history for that card will appear on at least one of your credit reports, and sooner than you think.
What’s On Your Credit Report
Your credit card application will trigger an inquiry, a look into your credit report. Reports contain a list of people who’ve checked your credit report in the past 2 years. Only those within the past year will affect your score, the number that “grades” your report.
Once you’re approved for a credit card, the credit card issuer opens up an account for you and creates an entry on your credit report. This happens even before you get the credit card in the mail and activate it. These are some of the factors about your credit card that are listed on your credit report:
- Date the account was opened
- Date of your last activity
- Monthly payment
- Whether the account is joint
- Your credit limit
- Credit card balance
- Account status, e.g. current, past due, etc.
Pretty much everything you do with your credit card – that’s tracked by your credit card issuer – goes on your credit report. Certain things are counted against you. For example, having a balance that’s too high compared to your credit limit. The tricky part is that your credit card issuer may report your credit card balance before you make a payment, so the balance that goes on your credit report could be higher than your current balance.
Payment History on Your Credit Report
If your credit card minimum payment is more than 30 days late, the credit card issuer will notify the credit bureau that your payment was late. Fortunately, if you miss your payment by just a couple of days, your credit report is saved from the trauma of a missed payment. One 30-day late payment in your entire credit history won’t hurt your credit so badly. But if you continually miss your credit card payment or let your account get charged-off, your credit history takes a big hit.
A monthly payment history for the last 24 months is listed on your credit report. If you’ve been late before that time, your credit report simply notes how delinquent you were and how often. It doesn’t say when you were delinquent or how long ago. Fortunately, these delinquent statuses will only stay on your credit report for seven years.
Make Sure Your Credit Report is Accurate
You can check your credit report once a year for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Otherwise, you can purchase your report directly from the credit bureaus. Checking your credit report gives you a chance to make sure that everything reported about your credit cards is accurate. If you find any errors, you can dispute with the credit bureau or call your creditor and have them correct the error and update your credit report.