What is DFS/WEBBANK and why is it on my credit reports?

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In a Nutshell

Have you financed an electronic purchase from Dell? If so, you may have seen DFS/WEBBANK on your credit reports.
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DFS/WEBBANK may appear on your credit reports if you’ve applied for financing with Dell to buy a computer or other technology.

If you recently applied for financing to cover the cost of a Dell computer or other electronic gadget, you may see DFS/WEBBANK on your credit reports. Here’s what to know about why it’s on your credit reports and what to do if you’ve never applied for an account with Dell.

What does DFS/WEBBANK stand for and why is on my credit reports?

DFS refers to Dell Financial Services, which provides a revolving financing program for Dell computers and technology that’s offered by WebBank. DFS/WEBBANK may appear on your credit reports if you opened a Dell Preferred Account with Dell or were added as an authorized user on an existing account.

WebBank offers two types of revolving lines of credit for Dell Financial Services.

  • Dell Preferred Account
  • Dell Business Credit

If you’ve applied for one of these lines of credit and authorized the bank to check your credit, you may see a hard credit inquiry on your credit reports. A hard credit inquiry can stay on your reports for up to two years, so it may be showing up even if you didn’t recently apply for the account.

Alternatively, if you applied for prequalification for a Dell Preferred Account, you might see a soft credit inquiry on your credit reports. A soft inquiry is visible only to you and doesn’t affect your credit scores.

How to remove a DFS/WEBBANK hard inquiry from my credit reports

If you applied for one of the two Dell Financial Services accounts, you probably won’t be able to remove the hard inquiry from your reports. It should fall off your reports about two years from the inquiry date.

But what happens if you spot DFS/WEBBANK on your credit reports and you didn’t authorize the credit pull? Dealing with an unauthorized hard inquiry on your credit can be stressful and scary.

There are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your credit if you find yourself in this situation. Consider these five tactics.

  1. Get proof. Contact the company that pulled your credit and ask for proof that you authorized the inquiry.
  2. Report the suspected fraud. Head to the Federal Trade Commission’s identitytheft.gov website to document and report the suspected ID theft. You may also want to consider filing a police report.
  3. Freeze your credit. To prevent identity thieves from further abusing your personal financial information, you may want to freeze your credit. Contact each credit bureau separately. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to be approved for new financial products while the freeze is in place, and it can delay other situations that require a credit check, such as applying for jobs. And while this won’t retroactively protect your credit, it can help stop identity thieves from opening accounts in your name while the freeze is in effect.
  4. Speaking of contacting the credit bureaus, you can request a free 90-day fraud alert from them.
  5. Dispute the unauthorized inquiry with the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus are required to investigate and remove any information that turns out to be inaccurate.

Authorized users

You may also see DFS/WEBBANK on your credit reports if you’ve been added as an authorized user on a Dell Financial Services account.

As an authorized user, the account activity will likely be reflected in your credit reports as well. Getting added to an account as an authorized user is one way you can build credit (especially if the primary account holder has stellar credit). You’re allowed to make purchases up to the primary account holder’s credit limit, but you’re not officially responsible for repaying the debt.

The downside is that if the primary cardholder misses a payment or has a high utilization rate, there could actually be a negative impact on your credit.

If you were added incorrectly as an authorized user to someone else’s DFS/WEBBANK account, you should contact WebBank and ask it to remove you from the account.

What other revolving lines of credit are issued by WebBank?

WebBank issues credit cards for a range of brand partners. If you carry a retail card from one of the following brands, it’s likely issued by WebBank, and you’ll probably have WEBBANK listed somewhere on your credit reports:

  • Jasper
  • Oportun
  • Petal
  • Yamaha

What to do if there’s an account you don’t recognize on your credit reports

It’s important to routinely check your credit reports to watch out for mistakes or even outright identity theft.

You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports from all three major consumer credit bureaus periodically through annualcreditreport.com. To monitor your credit more frequently, you can always access your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and VantageScore 3.0® credit scores for free using Credit Karma.

Whether you decide to keep an eye on your credit with Credit Karma or use another service, consider adding credit monitoring to your financial routine. Credit monitoring can be a useful tool in helping you identify and take action on certain errors or suspected fraud you might spot on your credit reports.

When it comes to any suspicious activity, the sooner you take action, the more likely you are to minimize any lasting damage to your credit profile.

About the author: Sean McQuay is a long-time personal finance nerd. He’s passionate about budgets, credit cards, and earning useful rewards with minimal effort. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a father to three rambunctious kids. Read more.