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Thursday, October 23, 2014   
 

Can an unpaid cellular phone bill be reported on my credit report?
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

Scott,

Can an unpaid cellular phone bill be reported on my credit report? I am in a dispute with a cell company over a bill that was paid by check and not credited to my account. Thank you for your help.

Theresa

Theresa,

Yes. It is possible that your cellular phone company can report trouble with your account to the credit bureaus. And it can go much further than that! Credit card companies continuously review your credit score and if they see that number drop they will raise your rates! That's called Universal Default.

I talked about Universal Default in a prior article titled, Penalty Rates

Chances are that they're not going to report it right away because the matter is still in dispute. If you suspect that they may be reporting it, you should get a copy of all your credit reports. I recommend getting them all at MyFico. (I've used their services many times.) 

The best resource for credit report law is the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The law governing credit reporting is The Fair Credit Reporting Act (summary of law here).

Regards,
Scott

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