Make sure your credit reports contain the proper credit limits!

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Make sure your credit reports contain the proper credit limits!

Some lenders do not report consumer credit limits. Instead they will only post the highest balance you have ever carried. Keeping proper credit limit information out of your file is not always an innocent oversight. It’s often done purposely by a lender to make you look less attractive to their competitors, so they won’t send you pre-approved offers. Worst of all, it lowers your credit score!

Capital One is infamous for this sneaky tactic: Instead of reporting customers’ proper credit limits, they often only report the highest balance carried, which give the appearance that you are closer to maxing out your card than you really are (which is bad for your credit score). Interestingly, we are told that FICO scores no longer use this information from Capital One when computing credit scores, but you may want to go through your credit report with a fine tooth comb to make sure that none of your other accounts are listed with inaccurate credit limits. Generally speaking, the more available credit you have, the better you look on your credit report.

If you find that a creditor or lender is not listing the proper credit line on your credit card or line of credit account, and it’s not Capital One, you might want to call and ask them to report the right amount. Sometimes, it is their company policy not to report, but it might be in your best interest to try.