Dear Consumer Ed:
My mortgage company is not reporting my payments to the credit bureaus. I always pay on time, and I feel this information would boost my credit score. Are mortgage companies legally required to report this information to the credit bureaus?
Consumer Ed says:
Although mortgage companies usually report mortgage loans and ongoing payments to one of the major credit bureaus, they are not legally required to do so.
It is possible that your mortgage payment information is not being reported because of a clerical error. If you have not already done so, contact your mortgage lender, explain the situation and request that it furnish your payment information to a credit reporting agency. If your lender refuses to do so, there are some other things you can do to improve your credit score:
- Review the information on your credit report to make sure there are no errors or collection items that you are unaware of. You can access your credit report for free by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. If you find an error on your credit report, contact the credit reporting agency directly to dispute it.
- Pay your bills on time, as late payments and collection items can send your credit score tumbling down.
- Having a low debt-to-credit ratio will boost your credit score. So try to pay down credit cards that have balances at or near the credit limit.
- You shouldn’t necessarily cancel a credit card when it’s paid off, especially if you have had that credit card account for a long time. Keeping the account open, even if you don’t use the card, could help your score by improving your debt-to-credit limit ratio. In addition, older accounts contribute positively towards your credit score.
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