What is a credit report and how can I get a copy?
Credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, create your credit report, which is a detailed report of your credit history based on information that’s been provided to CRAs by “furnishers” like lenders and auto finance companies. Credit reports contain a range of information—everything from personal details like names and Social Security numbers to specifics about auto loan payments and repossessions. It gives a view of your overall credit and debt history, like how often you make payments on time, how much credit you have, and how much credit you're using. Reviewing credit reports helps lenders decide if they will loan money to you and what interest rates and other terms they will offer.
You can get a free copy of your credit report from CRAs directly or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Learn more about how to check your credit report.
What is the role of credit reporting agencies and Capital One Auto Finance in determining what information is shown on my credit report?
Credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, prepare your credit report. A CRA receives credit information from “furnishers,” like lenders and auto finance companies, that extend credit. Information provided by furnishers, including Capital One Auto Finance, must be accurate and complete. We furnish information on payment history, such as whether you made your payment on time or late. On a monthly basis, we notify the CRAs that accounts 30 days or more past due are delinquent. If applicable, we may also include an account’s status, such as whether a vehicle was repossessed or an account was paid in full or settled in full for less than the full balance.
When and how do auto financing credit inquiries show up on my credit report?
If you sign a credit application for auto financing at a dealership, the dealer may submit your credit application to multiple lenders. Lenders who receive your application may submit a request to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, to view your credit report. These inquiries generate a hard credit check (also known as a "pull," "inquiry" or "hit") and may be visible on your credit report for two years, even for the lenders who do not fund your loan. Note that when multiple lender credit checks occur within a certain timing window—typically within 14 to 45 days—CRAs may lump them together, counting them as one credit check.
If you request pre-qualification for auto financing or refinancing from Capital One online, we will submit a soft credit check to the CRA(s). Soft credit checks are only visible to you on credit reports and don’t impact your credit score.
How long does my auto loan information stay on my credit report?
Credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, decide when, how, and for how long the information furnished to the CRA will display on your credit report. CRAs determine how long they will report information about a specific account (i.e., tradeline), as permitted by law. Late payment information could remain on a credit report for up to 7 years; account statuses in certain situations (e.g., bankruptcy) could remain on a credit report for up to 10 years.
Of important note, delinquent payment history is not deleted from your credit report once you become current, pay your balance in full, or settle an account for less than the full balance owed. In other words, your past negative payment history is not replaced by future positive payment history. This is one reason why it is very important to make each and every monthly payment on time.
Can I get a late auto payment taken off my credit report?
On a monthly basis, Capital One Auto Finance notifies credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, that accounts 30 or more days past due are delinquent. CRAs typically display this late payment information on a credit report where it can remain for as long as 7 years. Note that neither you, nor credit repair companies acting on your behalf, have a right to have late payment information removed from credit reports if it is accurate.
How can I dispute information on my credit report if I believe it’s inaccurate or incomplete?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute information you believe to be incomplete or inaccurate and requires furnishers like Capital One Auto Finance to conduct reasonable investigations of disputes. If you believe that the late payment shown on your credit report is inaccurately reported, you can file a dispute with us or through the credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
We will investigate your dispute using the information provided, and respond within 30 days. If any changes are deemed necessary, note that the CRAs will typically update your credit report(s) within 1-2 billing cycles after the investigation is complete.
Filing a Dispute with Capital One Auto Finance
When filing your dispute, we strongly encourage you to provide us with the specific information you believe was inaccurately or incompletely reported (such as payment dates or account status), and include supporting information that would help in the investigation (e.g., front and back of check, bank statement, marked-up copy of the credit report, etc.). We recommend downloading and completing our Credit Report Dispute Form and providing all relevant information that explains your situation. Please send your dispute and supporting materials directly to Capital One Auto Finance at the address listed below:
ATTN: COAF Credit Bureau Dispute
Capital One Auto Finance
PO Box 259407
Plano, TX 75025-9407
Filing a Dispute with the CRAs
Equifax: (866) 349-5191
Experian: (888) 397-3742
TransUnion: (800) 916-8800
If you choose to file a dispute with the CRAs, note that dispute-related communications will come from the CRAs, not Capital One.
Fact or Fiction? Late payments, even when accurately reported, can be removed by simply filing disputes using specific forms and citing certain laws, or by repeatedly submitting the same dispute.
As a lender that furnishes information to credit reporting agencies (CRAs), like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, we have a responsibility to furnish customers’ account and payment information accurately and completely. Please be wary of any online sources or “credit repair” companies advising you to seek removal of accurately reported information by claiming we are violating your Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or privacy rights by accurately furnishing your information. These companies may even charge you to use their dispute or complaint templates. Note that neither you, nor credit repair companies acting on your behalf, have a right to have late payment information removed from credit reports if it is accurate. Click here to learn more about the following warning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “[b]eware of anyone who claims that they can remove information from your credit report that’s current, accurate and negative. It’s probably a credit repair scam.”
Please also understand that when Capital One Auto Finance receives a dispute or complaint related to credit reporting, we conduct an investigation and inform you of the results. Repeatedly submitting the same dispute information without additional supporting documents, even if you do so through different channels, will not change the outcome of our investigation.
Fact or Fiction? You don’t have to pay back the amount you financed at the terms you agreed to and therefore late payments cannot be reported.
There are various theories (often referred to as "freeman on the land" or “freeman”-style theories) circulating on social media or elsewhere that allege a borrower is not responsible for repaying the amount they financed. These theories can take different forms, but they are based on flawed arguments. Capital One Auto Finance will not forgive your account balance simply because you submit a freeman-style dispute or complaint. Be wary of any online sources or companies advising you to file disputes claiming that your auto loan debt is invalid under a “freeman” theory. Click here to learn more about the following warning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “[b]eware of anyone who claims that they can remove information from your credit report that’s current, accurate and negative. It’s probably a credit repair scam.”
What should I do if I think my identity has been stolen?
If you are a victim of identity theft, you can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and with the police. If you notify Capital One Auto Finance of your identity theft claim, please provide supporting documentation, such as an FTC or police report and proof of your identity. We might request that you provide additional supporting documentation beyond these items to assist with our investigation. Once we have completed our investigation, we will notify you of our findings and any action we may take.
Please be wary of any online sources recommending you file a false claim of identity theft in order to avoid paying debts owed or to prevent accurate information from appearing on your credit report. Click here to learn more about the following warning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “[b]eware of anyone who claims that they can remove information from your credit report that’s current, accurate and negative. It’s probably a credit repair scam.”
How can I improve my credit score?
There are no quick fixes or shortcuts when it comes to boosting your credit score. But if you’re using credit responsibly, you’re on the right track. If you want an idea where you stand, you can use a tool like CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free to all—whether you’re a Capital One customer or not. And using it to check your credit won’t hurt your score.