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Can collection agencies keep updating credit reports?

A collection agency can continue to update the account on your credit reports up to the date the reporting time has expired.

Can a collection agency keep updating on your credit report? I disputed a medical bill that was removed from Transunion, However Experian never reported it but now, all of a sudden, it’s reporting it and Equifax seems like my account is being re-aged. For instance, Equifax report says: date open is 06/2018 then it says, date assigned 04/14, date Delinquency 09/2013. If you dispute an item can they do an update on that collection?

-Reader question

The short answer is yes, a collection agency can continue to update the account on your credit reports.

How collection agencies can update accounts on credit reports

There are several ways collection accounts can be updated:

  • When you dispute an item, the Date of Last Activity (DOLA) can be updated.
  • The date of last activity can change anytime there is new activity on your account. That could be a credit dispute or a payment. Both actions can precipitate a change to the date of last activity.
  • The “Open Date” for a collection account can be reported but it has no impact on the exclusion date the collection account will be deleted from your credit reports.
  • Collection agencies can report the “Open Date” for their collection account as the date that they received collection authority, either by way of assignment from the current owner, or when they purchased the debt. The “Open Date” is unrelated to any date pertaining to the original creditor.

What you should know about the date of delinquency

The date of delinquency refers to the date reported by the original creditor when you first become delinquent and no other payments were made. Also referred to as the Date of First Delinquency (DOFD). Here are two important facts about the delinquency date:

  • The collection agency regularly updating your credit report has no impact on when the account is due to be deleted (excluded) from your credit reports which is based only on the reported DOFD.
  • A collection agency has no legal authority to change the DOFD, it is set in stone. If it has someone changed the DOFD, it is a gross violation of federal law and they can be sued.

You don’t have to necessarily worry about the date of last activity, open date or last date reported. These dates can change. However, the DOFD cannot change. If the account went delinquent in June of 2013, the account should have been excluded (deleted) from your credit reports (all of them) on or about June 2020.

3 Ways to Counteract Negative Reporting Accounts

1. Open a credit card account. Opening a new credit account might help you improve your credit score because it can increase your available credit. The key is to keep the new credit account balance, as well as existing credit account balances low so that your available credit stays high. This is known as your credit utilization rate. For the best impact on your scores, keep your credit utilization as low as possible (under 30% or less). If your credit scores are shaky, credit card issuers like the Destiny Mastercard are designed for people with less than perfect credit.

2. Establish strong payment history. Payment history comprises 35% of your credit score, making it the No. 1 influence on your credit. When you open a new credit line, you have a chance to build up a history of on-time payments by paying your bill by the due date every month.

3. Use a Debit Card That Reports to Credit Bureaus. Extra is a debit card that reports payments to credit reporting bureaus Experian and Equifax. The Extra debit card connects to your checking account. Any purchases you make with the Extra debit card will be totaled at the end of the month, then Extra will report your card transactions to the credit bureaus Equifax and Experian as paid in full.

» Learn more about Extra

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