By NAZHAT SALIM
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, once said that "patience and diligence...move mountains." These traits can also help you tackle something monumental in your own life: your credit report.
Credit report lag is a prevalent cause of confusion for Credit Karma members. Imagine you have just paid off the entire balance on one of your credit cards and you are excited to see this reflected on your credit report. However, when you log into your Credit Karma account, you are surprised and disappointed to see that a change has not been made.
Before you panic and think something must be wrong keep in mind that, in general, creditors forward information like updated balances and newly opened accounts to the credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis. The first factor to consider is that not every lender reports to all three of the credit bureaus. Moreover, the day of the month that each creditor sends updates varies, so even if you paid off all of your credit cards on the same day, the new balances might not be reported simultaneously.
Your account balance may not always match the one on your credit report. [Tweet this]
Beyond your balances, familiarizing yourself with how hard inquiries and public records are reported is also key. In the case of hard inquiries, credit bureaus update inquiry information almost instantaneously, so you should be able to view this information as soon as it is dispatched. However, with public records such as bankruptcies, judgments and tax liens, the process can vary widely. Even if you have dealt with an outstanding item, the credit bureaus might have not yet received the updated information since every court works on a different time-table. More generally, negative marks can remain on your report for years, so there are not always quick fixes available.
Patience is crucial when it comes to seeing change in your credit score and reports because, as illustrated above, these matters can take some time. Give it a month or two before you worry because in most cases the updates are on their way. However, it is always a good idea to remain diligent about when you have made payments or had negative marks removed, how many accounts you should have open and the information that each bureau has on file for you. In the event that you notice incorrect information on your credit report, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus that are reporting the misinformation.
All in all, nothing can keep you on top of things like a little bit of patience and diligence. So the next time you check on your credit, keep in mind William Penn's words of wisdom. History is on your side, and so is Credit Karma!
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