When Does a New Credit Card Show Up on Your Credit Report?
Were you approved for a new credit card? Celebrations are in order! Our first piece of advice is to plan on using your new card to improve your credit scores. Please don’t go on a spending spree! The next thing you should do is check your credit reports. When will your new credit card show up on your credit report? What should you do if it’s not showing up? Panic?
Take a deep breath. You need to find out if it’s just taking a bit longer or not showing up at all. That brings us to a crucial question we will be looking into today – how long does it take for a new credit report to show up on your credit report?
The short answer is – it depends where the problem lies. Either a delay happened, or another mistake was made in the credit reporting process. We will look into both causes of the issue and what you can do to fix them.
Important: Your Credit Card Account Never Appears Right Away
Let’s get this one straight right away. There is a set timeframe during which you can expect your new account to start showing up on your credit reports.
When you apply and get approved for a new credit card, you usually wait for around a week for it to arrive. You can activate the card straight away and start charging it. But that won’t be mirrored in your credit reports straight away.
That is because the institutions responsible for updating your reports won’t know straight away that you have a new credit card. Let us elaborate on this a bit – the institutions that keep track of your reports are credit bureaus. The three most recognized bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These institutions need time to report information they include in your credit reports. They get it from different creditors and lenders, such as credit card companies.
And credit card companies have their own set of due dates and payment cycles for updating bureaus on the state of the affairs of their clients. That also goes for the question of when they will let the bureaus know that someone has been issued a new credit card.
Keeping all this in mind, it usually takes 30-60 days after the approval date for new credit card accounts to appear on your reports. If you are adamant about finding out a more precise date, you can always ask your credit card issuer about your payment cycle’s end date.
Why Could Your New Account Take Longer to Appear?
We already offered some insight on when does a new credit card show up on your credit report. But why may it take longer to appear? Apart from the delay caused by the standard payment cycle of the card issuer, there may be other causes at play. Here is what may have gone down with your credit card account:
- The credit card company doesn’t report to the bureau you prefer: Multiple credit bureaus exist in the US. Not just the three major ones we mentioned but others, as well. And no law says that every credit card company has to send information to every existing credit bureau in the US. While most creditors will report to all the well-known bureaus, some creditors may opt out of informing certain bureaus. And you may just have had the misfortune of finding a creditor that doesn’t send info to the credit bureau whose report you follow. To offset this problem, ask your credit card company beforehand to whom they report and how.
- A software error happened: Maybe your creditor did report your information to the credit bureaus. But a tech issue may have stopped your account from showing up. There are different causes of these software issues. Maybe that particular credit card company is in the process of merging with another one. During these consolidation periods, some client processes get delayed due to glitches. You can always call up your card issuer to find out more.
- There’s been an ID mix-up: People make honest mistakes. Maybe some employee entered the wrong name or Social Security number when you applied for a credit card. If you suspect this has happened, call your creditor’s customer service to double-check your user data.
- The new account showed up on your report but under a different name: Some people assume that their account is missing from the reports when it’s actually right under their noses, just under another name! That can happen sometimes when you get approved for a retail credit card. Unlike what one may expect, it won’t get listed under the department store’s name. Rather, it will get listed under the name of the bank that manages the retailer. So here’s a tip: don’t search your report by name, search by date.
If you are unwilling to deal with the cause of the delay yourself, or the delay has now passed the 60-day threshold, you can ask a professional to help. There are credit analyst teams out there – such as White, Jacobs and Associates – that know how to navigate the complicated maze that is credit reporting. If you’d like to speak with one of our analysts, please give us a call so we can hear your story.