Adding Positive Information to Your Credit Report

You should add information showing stability and unreported positive accounts to your credit report. Here's how.

In addition to disputing incorrect or incomplete information and adding explanations for negative information the credit reporting agency won't remove, you might want to ask the credit reporting agency to add information to your report that makes you look more creditworthy. This information usually includes:

  • information demonstrating your stability, and
  • positive account histories that are missing from your report.

(To learn more about credit reports, disputing inaccurate information, and building good credit, see our Cleaning Up Your Credit Report topic area.)

Does the Credit Reporting Agency Have to Add the Information?

The credit reporting agency (CRA) doesn't have to add information unless it's needed to correct something in your file or something in your file is incomplete.

Sometimes the line between something being incomplete, or missing entirely, is a bit gray. You might want to ask the creditor to add some of the items listed below at the same time you dispute incorrect or incomplete items.

Adding Information Showing Stability

Creditors like to see evidence of stability in your file. If any of the items listed below are missing from your file, consider sending a letter to the credit reporting agencies asking the agency to add that the information. You can use Nolo’s Letter to Request Addition of Information Showing Stability. You can also make your request online.

Include any documentation that verifies the information you’re providing, such as copies (never originals) of your driver’s license, a canceled check, a bill addressed to you, or a pay stub showing your employer’s name and address. Remember to keep copies of all correspondence.

Types of Information That Show Stability

Some information you might want to add include:

Your current employment, including your current employer’s name and address and your job title. You might wisely decide not to add this information if you think a creditor might sue you or a creditor has a judgment against you. Current employment information could be a green light for a wage garnishment.

  • Your previous employment, especially if you’ve had your current job fewer than two years. Include your former employer’s name and address and your job title.
  • Your current residence, and, if you own it, say so. Again, don’t do this if you’ve been sued or you think a creditor might sue you. Real estate is an excellent collection source.
  • Your previous residence, especially if you’ve lived at your current address fewer than two years.
  • Your telephone number, particularly if it’s unlisted. If you haven’t yet given the credit reporting agencies your phone number, consider doing so now. A creditor that can't verify a telephone number might be reluctant to grant credit. On the other hand, once it's in your credit report, any debt collector who wants to collect from you will be able to reach you. If you're not yet ready to deal with debt collectors, you might not want to add a telephone number.
  • Your date of birth. A creditor will probably not grant you credit if it doesn't know your age. But creditors also can't discriminate against you based on your age.
  • Your Social Security number.

What’s the Likelihood That the CRA Will Add Stability Information?

Credit reporting agencies are most likely to add information about jobs and residences, as that information is used by creditors in evaluating applications for credit. They will also add your telephone number, date of birth, and Social Security number because those items help identify you and lessen the chances of “mixed” credit files—that is, getting other people’s credit histories in your file.

Adding Positive Account Histories

Often, credit reports don’t include accounts that you might expect to find. There are a few reasons why this happens.

Creditors Send Information to One CRA Only

Some creditors will send account information to one, but not all three, nationwide credit reporting agencies.

If one report has credit information missing, send a copy of the complete report to the other agencies with a cover letter asking the agency to include the missing information in your file. If you’ve worked hard to clean up one report, you'll want the others to reflect accurate information, too.

The Creditor Doesn’t Report to CRAs

Your report might also be missing accounts. This kind of omission can happen if your local bank or credit union doesn't provide information to credit reporting agencies. If you're in this situation, try the following:

Ask the CRA to Add the Information

Send a copy of a recent account statement and copies of canceled checks (never originals) showing your payment history and ask the credit reporting agencies to add the information to your file. The nationwide credit reporting agencies themselves don't specifically say that they will add accounts to your report if you (not the creditor) report them, or whether they will charge you to do so. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

Ask the Creditor to Report the Information

Another possibility is to ask the creditor directly to report your account information to the reporting agency. Creditors and the credit reporting agencies generally have existing contracts. So, if a creditor isn't already providing information to the credit reporting agency, it might not want to spend the resources necessary to do so just for your account. But again, it’s worth a try.

Use an Alternative CRA

A third possibility is to add information to your credit file in an alternative-type credit reporting agency, like PRBC. PRBC (Payment Reporting Builds Credit) credit reporting agency, for example, tracks payments that aren't usually included in a standard credit report. It's designed to provide a history and credit score for those who have little or no credit history. It tracks payments that might not show up in other credit reports, like rent, utilities, or other regular bills. But keep in mind that Experian already includes rental payments provided by landlords through its RentBureau service in its credit files and some versions of the FICO score include rental payment information when available.

You can create a free account at www.prbc.com. Its website, however, lacks the kind of consumer information you see on the websites for the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Before you jump into this option, find out whether the creditors you are seeking credit from will agree to use a credit score from this company.

Read more articles and Q&As on Repairing and Rebuilding Your Credit.

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