Credit reports are often lengthy and full of information. They tell the story of your history as a borrower, from the basics of your credit accounts to how you've repaid your debt in the past.
Depending on how many accounts you have and how long your credit history, there are potentially hundreds or thousands of pieces of data that can populate your credit report. The three major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion--are responsible for collecting and maintaining this consumer information. Considering all of this, it probably comes as no surprise that there can occasionally be payment information missing from your credit report.
What does this mean for your credit, and what can you do to fix it? Read on to find out.
How can missing payment information affect my credit?
First of all, it's important to know that your payment history is one of the top factors influencing your credit score. (You can see how you compare on this and other major factors by logging on to Credit Karma.) Your payment history is basically the percentage of payments you've made on time. It helps show lenders how reliable you are in meeting your debt obligations. In a nutshell, the closer this percentage is to 100, the better.
When it comes to a payment that's missing from your credit report, the potential impact on your credit will depend on whether the missing payment status is negative or positive.
Missing negative payment information will generally have more of an impact on your credit health than missing positive payment history. A late payment can have varying effects on your credit, depending on how late you are. On the other hand, if you correct missing positive payment information on your credit report, it may or may not have an impact on your credit.
Why is it missing and what can I do?
Ultimately, it's up to you whether or not you want to make an effort to get your credit report updated. It's important to keep in mind that this particular type of update to your report may not have the effect that you desire. If you do decide to get your report updated, here are some reasons why your payment information could be missing and some next steps you can take.
- Your creditor has stopped reporting to TransUnion. If your account has become inactive, your lender may decide to stop reporting it to TransUnion. If this is the case, you might consider contacting your lender directly or start using the line of credit again to make it active once more.
- TransUnion has stopped sending us information. If you notice missing payment information on your TransUnion credit report on Credit Karma, it could be that TransUnion has stopped sending us these details. In this case, you may choose to reach out to TransUnion to ensure they're still reporting correctly on this line of credit.
- There's some other data reporting error. Credit bureaus aren't perfect, and neither are your creditors. From time to time, they can get things wrong, and it's usually up to you to catch and correct their errors. In this case, you may choose to print out your credit report, indicate where the missing information should be and document any correspondence you have with TransUnion or your creditor.
You've taken a great first step by staying on top of your credit and identifying a potential problem. Continue checking your free credit report regularly on Credit Karma to check if it's accurate and complete.
About the Author: Bethy Hardeman is the Communications Manager at Credit Karma, where she's been since February 2011. When she's not writing about credit and finance all over the web, you can find her playing her guitar, catching the latest movie, training for her next race or just exploring the city of San Francisco. Say "Hi" on Twitter: @bhardeman.
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