When you're making payments on your home every month, you probably want to have something to show for it. You may be disheartened to discover that the mortgage isn't actually on your credit report at all. If this is the case, it means your payment history isn't helping improve your credit score. There are several explanations for why this may be happening, and while you can fix it some cases, you'll just have to live with it in others.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
There are several reasons why a person's mortgage doesn't show up on their credit report. They include holding a mortgage with a private lender, holding a mortgage in someone else's name and clerical errors.
Delay in Reporting
You shouldn't expect a brand-new mortgage to show up on your credit report right away. In general, a delay of 30 to 60 days between when you sign the paperwork on your mortgage and when it appears on your credit report is normal. If you get your mortgage during a busy time of year, like the summer, it may take a little longer due to processing delays. The same is true when you refinance a mortgage, so you may actually have a short time when your credit report shows that your old mortgage was paid off but does not yet have any data about your new, refinanced loan.
Your mortgage is not likely to ever appear on your credit report if you opted for owner financing or another type of nontraditional financing. This is because the credit bureaus have very strict requirements that lenders must follow when reporting payments. The financial cost of following these requirements is often not worth it for owners who only finance a few homes. Owner financing includes purchases directly from the owner, many types of rent-to-own agreements, and similar situations that do not use a traditional lender.
Lender Who Does Not Report
Just as your mortgage may not show up if you use owner financing, the same may be true if you use a very small lender. You cannot force any lender to report mortgage information to the credit bureaus, and neither can the bureaus themselves. Some lenders may have a policy to only report problems with accounts, but not report accounts in good standing. Other lenders report to just one credit bureau instead of reporting all three. This is why it's important to ask about credit reporting policies before getting a mortgage if you want to ensure that it will appear on all three of your credit reports.
If you have gotten a mortgage through a traditional lender, like a bank or large credit union, and it has not yet shown up on your credit report, this may be due to a clerical error. For example, the lender may have made a mistake in recording your Social Security number or your legal name. Because the mortgage is affiliated with a new address, the credit bureau may not be able to figure out that it belongs on your credit report. If you suspect this may be why your mortgage is not showing up, call your lender to explain the problem and ask to confirm all of the personal information affiliated with your account.
Name Not on Mortgage
The last scenario that could cause your mortgage to not be on your credit report is if your name is actually not on the mortgage documents. For example, some couples choose to apply for the mortgage in only one person's name if that person has a better credit score and sufficient income to qualify. Although you help make payments, your name may not actually be on the loan documents. In this scenario, the only way to get the mortgage onto your credit report is to refinance with both of your names on the loan, which is a costly process.
- Experian: Can I Report My Mortgage Payments to the Credit Bureaus?
- PrivacyGuard: Credit Reports & Mortgages - What to Do with an Invisible Loan
- Walker & Walker: Why Payments Don't Show up on Credit Reports, and How to Fix It
- Sonoma County Mortgages: 2 Simple Reasons Why Your Mortgage Might not Show up on Your Credit Report