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:
(To learn more about credit reports, disputing inaccurate information, and building good credit, see our Cleaning Up Your Credit Report topic area.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Often, credit reports don't include accounts that you might expect to find. There are a few reasons why this happens.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.