Everyone has a morning routine. You get up in the morning, take a shower, and brush your teeth. Perhaps you grab some breakfast on your way to the office. If you’re fortunate enough to work from home maybe you start your morning like I do and go to CrossFit and work out. One of my morning routines is to check all three of my credit reports. This morning demonstrates why you should always do this.
I got up like I normally do and while starting my day I checked TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can sign up for a free account with Experian and for a small monthly fee you can see your credit score. When I checked my Experian report, I noticed that my score dropped eleven points. I was still 720+, but I was concerned.
Experian has a button that you can press that says see why my score changed. When I pressed that button the portal stated that I had closed several accounts. I was immediately concerned because I had not closed any accounts, but I do have a dozen accounts that have zero balances that I don’t use. I thought perhaps that one of those credit cards had closed.
Upon further examination I realized that all four of my American Express accounts were not reporting to Experian, but they were still reporting to TransUnion and Equifax. I immediately called Experian and got a live representative on the phone. They told me that I needed to call American Express.
I called American Express and found out that I needed to speak specifically to the credit reporting department. This is important to remember in case something like this happens to you in the future as a normal customer service representative will not be able to provide the assistance that you need.
American Express has excellent customer service and the representative was able to confirm that while they were reporting my accounts to Experian, there was a technical issue on Experian’a side that was preventing my accounts from reporting correctly.
The American Express representative told me that it could take up to two billing cycles for the information to re-report. This is why it is important to be agnostic when it comes to credit. In my case I have over 40 trade lines reporting to my credit report. However, if American Express was the only company that I did business with, and all of my trade lines were deleted in error, my credit score could have dropped over a hundred points.
The moral to the story is make sure at least once a day you take a look at your financial health which includes your credit. You never know when an error might cause a huge disruption in something you were planning to do.