What Are Tradelines
Tradelines are important for establishing credit, as “tradelines” are simply accounts that appear on your credit profile. For example, if you have a credit card with, say, Discover Card, then you have an existing tradeline with that company (Discover). The more positive tradelines you have on your credit report, the better. But the fact is, some accounts, or tradelines, do not appear on your credit report, which is probably why you’re here.
Note: this article can be used for all 3 credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Having more tradelines gives future creditors a better glimpse of how trustworthy you are, or have been, with your accounts. The more tradelines that are positive, the better it makes you appear to a potential creditor.
Let’s discuss how to add tradelines to your credit report.
How to Open New Tradelines (Accounts)
Opening a new tradeline is relatively easy, as it consists of simply applying (and getting approved) for new credit cards, loans or any type of credit where the creditor reports to CRA’s (Credit Reporting Agencies, also known as credit bureaus). Of course, you’ll need to be approved for these credit lines, so if you’re having issues with that, please consider reading our article on how to repair your credit.
There are many types of accounts you can open to establish or build credit, such as credit cards, retail cards, gas cards, secured credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, etc. But if you do not have sufficient credit history, or if your credit score is not worthy of those types of accounts, you’ll need to stick to secured credit cards for now.
1. Secured Credit Cards: Getting a secured credit card simply requires you to add a security deposit to the credit card so that you can borrow against that deposit, forcing you to prove yourself with on-time payments each billing cycle (monthly). This sounds like a bad deal for many people, but it’s actually a great way to quickly (3-6 months or so) build up a decent credit history before applying for other cards. If your credit report has been cleaned up, you can use this credit history to improve your credit score, which is what you need to do before applying for other credit cards, or even loans.
2. Other Cards: The next step, after using a secured credit card for a few months (or longer, depending on improvements to your credit rating) is to apply for Gas Cards or Retail store cards. These credit cards are easier to obtain compared to most credit cards as they are more lenient. Just be sure to make your payments each month to continue to improve your credit score and history over time.
After you’ve done the above, you should have some solid tradelines on your account now. Once your credit score gets around 700+ you can even apply for other cards, such as Discover, Barclay’s or other easier approval cards. These aren’t bad cards, in fact they are great cards to have, and even offer some great benefits!
Opening installment accounts are also another way to add new tradelines to your credit file. Installment loans can be a mortgage, auto loan or anything else that’s considered a big ticket item that requires monthly payments. Personal loans are also a good way to add a new tradeline to your credit report!
Report Existing Tradelines
If you have open accounts that you notice are not appearing on your credit report, then you can request that these tradelines be added to your report by the creditor or even credit bureau(s). Contacting the actual creditor is your best bet, and probably the easiest. If they are not reporting your account to the credit bureaus, simply ask them to do so. They should be able to report past and future payments to help you with your credit history.
If you decide to contact the credit bureau you will need to collect any and all information that you can use to prove that the account belongs to you, and then contact Experian, Equifax or TransUnion to request these tradelines be added to your credit file.
You can contact these credit reporting agencies online, by phone or by mail.
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013