Most frequently asked questions
What is Alternative Credit and why is it important?
Any payment account that is not found in your Equifax*, Experian*, or TransUnion* credit report is considered “alternative” credit. Typically, property managers and landlords, utility companies, cell phone providers, insurance companies and many other types of businesses do not report their customer’s account information and payment history to the national credit bureaus.
Regardless of whether you have no credit file, a thin credit file, or a credit file with negative credit information, your alternative credit information may help you in many situations that require a credit check. If you have no credit file or a thin credit file with no score, and you make on-time monthly payments, your alternative credit accounts may help you establish a payment history that will help you build or improve your credit score(s). If your credit file contains negative payment information, your alternative credit accounts may help to offset those negative marks by showing the creditor a more complete picture of your credit history. Even if you have good credit, but only one or two accounts, your alternative credit accounts may further lift your overall credit profile by demonstrating across more accounts how conscientious you are about making timely payments
Does eCredable provide my information to the national credit bureaus?
Yes. eCredable currently reports your information to TransUnion. Eventually, we hope to report your information to other credit bureaus such as Equifax as well.
Does eCredable help me create a credit score?
Yes! That’s exactly what eCredable is designed to do. When you enroll in eCredable Lift® and link your eligible utility company accounts, we access your payment history to report it to participating National Credit Reporting Agencies. When you apply for credit (like a credit card) and the creditor access your credit report from TransUnion, it will include a credit score. If the credit score the creditor uses is FICO® Score 8 (or newer) or VantageScore® 3 or newer, the account payment history we reported on your behalf will be included in the score calculation.
Go to https://www.ecredable.com/marketplace to see offers that may interest you that use these credit scores
What impact will my linked accounts have on my credit score(s)?
This really depends on your current credit file. Let’s look at three different situations:
- No Credit History – This is called a “no file” by the credit bureaus and lenders. If you have no credit file, there is no way to create a traditional credit score for the lender to use. When you link an eligible account, you will now have enough information to create a credit score using some credit scoring models. If you link a Mobile Phone account with 18 months of on-time payment history and an Internet account with 18 months of on-time payment history, you might see a score of 620. If you link a third account, you might see a score as high as 650.
- Limited Credit History – This is called a “thin file” by the credit bureaus and lenders. A “thin file” will not usually create a traditional credit score due to the lack of information required to create a score. When you link even one account with 18 months of on-time payment history, it’s very possible you will now have a credit score. The range can vary significantly based on the other information already present in your file.
- Extensive Credit History – This is called a “thick file” by the credit bureaus and lenders. A “thick file” usually contains a significant amount of credit history based on a variety of debts you have taken on. This might include credit cards, auto loans, and a mortgage. The “thicker” your file, the less impact adding linked accounts will have. But here’s why you should still use eCredable Lift to link accounts – lenders use credit score ranges to create “credit score bands”. A credit score band helps them establish the financial terms that will be offered for each credit score band. If you happen to be sitting at a 749 and linking your Mobile Phone account lifts your score up just one point to a 750, the lender might offer better terms to someone with a 750 credit score. Of course, you’ll never know the exact credit score ranges associated with a score band – lenders don’t usually advertise this. The best advice is simply to have as much positive information as possible in your file credit file to get best the credit score possible.
Do all creditors use Alternative Credit information?
Almost all creditors use Alternative Credit Information in one form or another. There is a variety of information collected by a variety of companies falling into the category of Alternative Credit Information, but it’s very difficult for the consumer to know what the lender is using behind the scenes. The advantage of using eCredable Lift® is that we ONLY report your information to your core credit file at participating credit bureaus (like TransUnion). This ensures your information will impact your traditional credit scores – the ones that most lenders use.
Is my personal information secure?
The safety of your personal information is of utmost importance to eCredable. eCredable maintains physical and procedural safeguards designed to protect the confidentiality of your personal information, and to comply with the highest level of physical and internet security standards. In addition to eCredable’s strict security policies and ID verification procedures, eCredable uses Secure Socket Layer Encryption (SSL) whenever sensitive information is sent or received. This provides the same level of security used by banking institutions and other on-line companies requiring the utmost protection for their customers.
Does eCredable report late payments?
If you're concerned about late payments, they will be reported if they are reflected in your payment history. However, by law, your payment can't be reported late until it is 30 days past the payment due date. For example:
- Payment status of 30-days late means that payment was made between 30-59 days past the payment due date.
- Payment status of 60-days late means that payment was made between 60-89 days past the payment due date.
- Payment status of 90-days late means that payment was made between 90-119 days past the payment due date.
- Payment status of 120+ days late means that payment 120 days or more past the payment due date.
It is important to remember that the Payment Due on your statement must be made in full to avoid a late payment. For example, your January utility statement has a Payment Due of $83.50. You make your payment by the due date, but you pay only $80.00, and $3.50 carries over to the following month. Next month, your February statement includes the January past due amount of $3.50. If your February Payment Due is not posted by the due date, you will be considered 30 days late for January because the $3.50 carry over was paid 30 days late.
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