What is a credit report, and how can I get a copy?
Credit reporting agencies–like Equifax, Experian and Transunion among others–create your credit report, which is a detailed report of your credit history based on information that’s been provided by lenders, auto finance companies, and credit card 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, plus loan and credit card payments. It gives a view of your overall credit and debt history, including 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.
How do credit reporting agencies and Capital One determine what information is on my credit report?
Credit reporting agencies–like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion among others–create your credit report. An agency receives credit information from lenders, auto finance companies, and credit card companies. These furnishers, including Capital One, must provide information that is accurate and complete. We furnish payment history information on a regular basis, reporting payments that are on-time or delinquent (more than 30 days late). We also include an account's status, such as paid in full or settled for less than the full balance.
When and how do credit inquiries show up on my credit report?
If you sign a credit application for a credit card or auto financing, the lender may submit a request to the credit reporting agencies–like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion–to view your credit report. These requests 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 if the lender does not offer you credit or if you decline to accept the lender’s offer.
If you use Capital One's online tools to determine whether you are prequalified for a Capital One credit card or auto financing, you must agree to Capital One checking your credit. This type of credit check results in a soft inquiry appearing on your credit report. Soft inquiries are only visible to you and don't impact your credit score.
Please note that if you apply for a credit card or auto financing after you are pre-approved, you will need to consent to Capital One performing a credit check that results in a hard inquiry appearing on your credit report.
How long does my credit information stay on my credit report?
Credit reporting agencies –like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion among others–decide when, how, and for how long the information will show on your credit report. The individual agencies determine how long they will report information about a specific account as permitted by law. Typically, an account will stay on your credit report for 10 years if you paid it in good standing. Similarly, an account that is severely past due and charged-off as bad debt can stay on your credit report for up to 7 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.
Can I get a late credit card payment taken off my credit report?
Capital One notifies credit reporting agencies– like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion–regularly about delinquent accounts. The agencies typically show this late payment information on a credit report for up to 7 years. Neither you nor a credit repair company can remove accurately reported late payment information from your credit reports.
But if you believe there might be an error, you can contact us to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. We will investigate your dispute using the information you provide, and we will respond within 30 days of receiving the dispute. Please keep in mind that credit reporting agencies will typically update your credit report(s) with any necessary changes within 1-2 billing cycles after the investigation is complete.
How can I dispute information on my credit report if I believe it’s inaccurate or incomplete?
1. For issues related to information that Capital One has reported to the credit reporting agencies, you can dispute directly with us.
2. For issues on your credit report that are not related to your Capital One account, you can dispute with the credit reporting agencies or with other credit institutions.
Please note: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Capital One is required to report accurately and conduct reasonable investigations of disputes. We will investigate your dispute using the information you provide, and we will respond within 30 days of receiving the dispute.
Please keep in mind that credit reporting agencies will typically update your credit report(s) with any necessary changes within 1-2 billing cycles after the investigation is complete.
Dispute with Capital One
Please include the following information in the dispute letter you send to us:
Capital One Account number(s) in question
Social security number (example: 123-45-6789)
Date of birth
A detailed description of the issue and how you would like it resolved. Please include documentation to support your claim, such as a copy of your credit report with the disputed information circled. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Please send your dispute and supporting materials directly to us:
Credit card-related issues:
Capital One, P.O. Box 31293, Salt Lake City, UT, 84131-1293
Auto loan-related issues:
Credit Bureau Dispute, P.O. Box 259407, Plano, TX 75025-9407
We recommend downloading and completing our Auto Loan Credit Bureau Dispute Form and providing all the relevant information that explains your situation. Return the completed form to the P.O. Box address for Auto loan-related issues.
Retail bank-related issues:
Disputes related to Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian reporting: Capital One Consumer Services, PO Box 30273, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0273
Disputes related to ChexSystems and Early Warning Systems reporting: Capital One Bank, Attn: Loss Mitigation Dept, PO Box 85026, Richmond, VA 23285
Dispute with the credit reporting agencies
Early Warning System (EWS): (800)-745-1560
Please note: If you choose to file a dispute with the credit reporting agencies, all dispute-related communications will come from the credit reporting agencies, not Capital One.
Can accurate information be removed from my credit report by filing a dispute?
Accurate information cannot be removed from a credit report, even if a dispute is filed. As a lender that furnishes information to credit reporting agencies– like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion–we have a responsibility to furnish a customer’s 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. Please 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. Learn more.
When Capital One receives a dispute or complaint related to credit reporting, we conduct an investigation and inform you of the results. Repeatedly submitting the same dispute 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 credit card debt that you owe 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 credit card debt that they owe. These theories can take different forms, but they are based on flawed arguments. Capital One 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 credit card debt is invalid under a “freeman” theory. Learn more.
What should I do if I think my identity has been stolen?
If you are a victim of identity theft, you can file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and with the police. If you notify Capital One 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. Learn more.
Please be wary of credit repair scams that suggest filing a false claim as a means to get accurate information removed from your credit report. Learn more.
Why is my credit score important?
Lenders can use your credit scores and reports to decide whether to do business with you. Your credit score can affect the interest rates you can get, what lending and credit options you're offered, renting property and if you're eligible for certain jobs. Please note that you have many credit scores. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) explains, “Your score can differ depending on which credit reporting agency provided the information, the scoring model, the type of loan product and even the day when it was calculated.”
How can I monitor my credit for free?
Sign up for CreditWise by Capital One, a free tool to monitor your credit score and more. That way, you can always know where you stand, spot potential errors and possible fraud attempts.
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 of where you stand, you can use a tool like CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free, whether you’re a Capital One customer or not, and never hurts your score.
What happens if my account is sold by Capital One to a different card issuer or to a debt collector?
If your credit history is still showing your Capital One account after the sale, you can dispute any inaccurate information reported by Capital One before the sale. We're not able to share new information about an account or make changes to the information reported after the sale takes place.
I opened a credit card with a retailer. Why is Capital One showing up on my credit report?
We partner with retailers or other companies to provide credit to their customers. Even though a credit card might have a different brand name on it, Capital One provides credit and services accounts for certain merchants.