Dear Credit Card Adviser,
If my credit card company transfers my account to another company in a merger and sends me a "new" card with a different card number, is this considered a new account on my credit report?
Also, do I lose the history of the previous card?
You shouldn't lose the payment history of your old credit card. However, you may or may not have a new entry on your credit report.
In an email, Experian spokesman Rod Griffin wrote, "The lender determines how the account will be reported when it acquires another lender and assumes ownership of the debt."
He says the new lender may do one of several options:
- Delete the old account and replace it with a new credit card account, carrying over the previous history.
- Leave the old account as it is and not add a new account while the acquisition process is underway.
- Report the previous account as closed and transferred, and open a new credit card account that would reflect the payment history going forward.
These account updates should have a neutral impact on your credit score. Provided the credit limit on the new account is the same and you continue to pay on time, this change in account information would not impact one's credit score, Equifax spokeswoman Demitra Wilson said via email.
"If the credit limit of the account is changed, the consumer's score may be impacted because their debt-to-available-credit ratio would also change," she said. This ratio is part of a factor worth about 30 percent of your FICO credit score, a score commonly used by lenders.
If you want to make sure the accounts are reporting correctly, check your credit report. You can request a free copy at AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three major credit bureaus once every 12 months under federal law.
If you don't think the accounts were updated properly, file a dispute through the agency from which you ordered the report. You can initiate a dispute online, over the phone or via postal mail using the contact information on your credit report. Disputing information doesn't cost money or hurt your credit score.
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