If you have ever borrowed money from a financial institution, paid rent on an apartment, owned a credit card or bought insurance for your car, chances are a credit reporting agency is keeping track of information regarding how you pay your bills. Any line of credit that you have in your name, and for which you are the individual primarily responsible for paying the bill, is a primary tradeline. If you have been denied a loan based on a lack of credit history, you may be able to add primary tradelines to your credit report to improve your credit score.
1. Determine the financial institution with which you wish to open a line of credit. This may be your local bank, credit union, finance company, department store, credit card issuer or other lender. Contact the lender and request a credit application. Ensure that you fully understand the conditions of the line of credit, including payment requirements, interest rates, fees and penalties. Complete the credit application and return it to the lender.
2. Once approved, make sure you abide by the terms of the lending agreement. Make all required payments in a timely manner. Ask your lender at what point it will report your tradeline to the three major credit reporting agencies. Most major lenders automatically report new accounts to the credit reporting agencies on a regular basis, but some do not. If your lender does not automatically report, request that it do so.
3. Check your credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies, which are Experion, TransUnion and Equifax, to ensure your new tradelines have been added to your report. You can request your credit report through the Federal Trade Commission's annualcreditreport.com website from all three agencies for free once per year. You may obtain a copy of your credit report from any reporting agency at any time for a fee. If your primary tradelines do not appear on your credit reports, you may make a request in writing for the agencies to include these lines of credit on your report. Credit reporting agencies are not required to include your requested information, but many will do so for a fee, according to the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions.
- Some credit repair organizations offer to sell primary tradelines that report you as an authorized user in an attempt to improve your credit score. This is sometimes referred to as piggybacking or renting a tradeline. Unless you are primarily responsible for repaying the line of credit, credit reporting agencies and lenders do not consider these accounts to be primary tradelines and under the FICO 08 credit scoring system, they will do little to improve you credit score.
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