Credit Repair Program -- Step 11. Add Supplemental Info to Credit Report
Your credit report may not list all of your credit accounts. Although most national department store and bank credit card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information to credit bureaus. Some travel, entertainment, gasoline card companies, local retailers, your landlord, and credit unions are among those creditors who don't usually report.
For example, suppose you were never late and never missed paying a monthly car payment for four years. However, upon examining your credit report, you realize that the Acme Finance Company never reported your payment history to even one of the three credit bureaus. Having your perfect payment history reported to your credit report would really boost your credit rating. If Acme subscribes to Equifax and TransUnion, you can contact them and request that your payment history be reported to both of these credit bureaus (See Sample Letters 21 and 22).
If you lack sufficient credit history or want to improve your credit rating by adding information to it, you can request that unreported accounts be added to your credit report. Before beginning this, you should be aware that there is not a federal law requiring your creditor or a credit bureau to report your payment history to your credit report. If you ask them to report and they refuse, there is nothing you can do to force them to comply. Also, note that a creditor must be a subscriber to a credit bureau before he can report your account information. If a creditor doesn't subscribe, the credit bureau will not be able to process his request.
You can write to the credit bureaus or a creditor and ask that certain accounts be added to your credit report. A credit bureau might refuse to add information or might charge you a small fee to add supplemental information.
How do you find out if a current or former creditor subscribes to a certain credit bureau? Call them and ask which credit bureaus they subscribe to. Don't be afraid to ask the phone company, the water department, your landlord, etc., to report your payment history to your credit report.
It is important to note that some lenders have figured out that they can keep you as a customer if they don't report your payment history to your credit report. How? If they don't report, perhaps you will have trouble getting future financing from a competitor due to an insufficient credit history. This forces you to come back to them for financing. They will stick you with a higher interest rate knowing that you have no other alternative. Since more and more lenders are using this tactic, it would be smart to ask a lender upfront if he will be reporting your payment history to at least one of the credit bureaus. Just because they tell you they will, doesn't mean you can hold them to it. You might want to get the lender to agree in the written contract to report your payment history to at least one credit bureau.