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Question By
thepcbguy

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Can you report a card as lost to "cheat" boost your score?
I am currently at 773 / 775, which I'm not unhappy with. My only negative factor is my short credit age of less than 4 years as I moved from the UK, and had to start from scratch.

At the article below, I saw their point #4 saying that some people report a card as stolen. The issuer then issues a new account # and carries over your old payment history to the new account, resulting in two reported accounts with a good age / payment history on each.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/perfectly-legal-hacks-improve-credit-score/story?id=23071180

I have read here though, that lost cards can result in a temporary drop in score, and that the notion of this "trick" creating an extra history doesn't actually work.

Does anybody with any more experience than me have any insight into this? Or any knowledge (from experience or otherwise) which credit cards this does / doesn't work with?

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Here's the actual wording copied & pasted from the article I reference, explaining how it works.

4. Reporting a Card Lost

This is an obscure one, but Paperno said it came up a lot when he worked with myFICO Forums, a community for conversations about credit.

"You report your card lost," he said. "They close that account, create a new account number for you and move all your history over to that account, including the original open date, and add that new account to your credit report."

If that account has been open for a long time, you now have two trade lines with that length of history, which increases the average age of your credit. Credit age makes up roughly 15% of your credit score.

"I'm not encouraging this, by the way," Paperno said. At one point, he called the practice "borderline unethical," but people do it, and it works. "I think it's more trouble than it's worth. ... But it does point out that you can help your score by more than paying down balances and making your payments on time."

Also, different credit card issuers may report a lost or stolen card differently to the credit bureaus, so this hack may not have the desired effect.

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Not how it works...

That stuff you quoted used the term "borderline unethical"...but there's no borderline about it.  That's simply unethical and I wouldn't advise anyone to think like that.  Nobody wants to conduct business with a person that looks for ways to trick the system. 

Now, having said that...the information in that message is just flat out wrong.  You will not have two open accounts with the duplicate age of history.  I've had to do this very thing because of my ethically-challenged ex wife.  When I called to shut off one of the cards she was still trying to use (a year after our divorce)...they killed that card and reissued a different number.   Same exact process as a stolen card.  It transferred the age and payment history over to the new account number and the old account was CLOSED.  So only one account actually continues to be reported as an open account. 

Bottomline:  Build your credit-worthiness through honest methods and you'll fare much better in the long run.  Its really not that difficult to do.

Reply by
AtriusNY

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Your comment implies if an account is closed, it is not taken into consideration, which is not correct. The article foresees the affaects of reporting a credit card lost, exactly as what happened to you.

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