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Ghost credit card?

CWA1984
Regular Contributor

Ghost credit card?

Okay this is kind of weird.  Apparently years ago when I was in the US army I opened up a bank account in Fort Drum and while I never closed the account I never applied for a credit card with them either.  Yet according to FICO my oldest account which would be a credit card from that bank is 11 years old...yet I've never used the card nor do I think the account for the bank is open due to inactivity for over a decade so I got to ask is something like this normal?  I'm glad it's boosting my credit score and all but I'm just worried my credit score in the future dropping unexpectedly when I'm applying for a loan in the future and getting denied for loans.  

 

My real oldest card is from my credit union is a little over 4 years old.  I have 3 other credit cards the Discover IT cash back credit card (3 months old), the Amex Everyday Card (3 months old), the Sam's Club Mastercard (1 month old) and I literally just applied for the US Bank Cash plus credit card.  My Experian score is 756 my fico score according to Discover is 758 and my Transunion score was 797 according to Synchrony Bank.  I'm just wondering how badly my score will drop if this card ever falls off my credit report since it did on CK which is irrelevant but my score their did drop 50 points.  Does anyone else have a similar experience of something like this happening?  Did the oldest card ever just vanish off your report hurting your score when you need it most?  

Message 1 of 12
11 REPLIES 11
CuriousGradStudent
Regular Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

If the account is no longer showing on CK, my guess is it has already fallen off your report.



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Message 2 of 12
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Ghost credit card?

When looking at your credit report what is the information given associated with the account?  Does it state that it is open or closed?  Do you see information like the account number, credit limit, high balance, etc? 

 

If the card is open, that would be a great thing for you and I would act quickly to ensure that it stays open.  I'd contact the bank and tell them that you need a card sent to you immediately and put a $5 swipe on it right away.  An AoOA of 11 years verses 4 years is big.  If the account is closed, chances are it will vanish around 10 years from the date stated that it was closed. 

 

I'd like to hear a little more about this account for sure.

Message 3 of 12
CreditGuyInDixie
Super Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

Hey OP.  The single thing that would benefit you most at this point is learning the difference between reports and scores.  You need to understand who the "big three" bureaus are, what it means that they have a report on you, how to read that report, and what tools will give you the ability to get free and frequent updates to these reports.

 

You write: "Yet according to FICO my oldest account which would be a credit card from that bank is 11 years old...."

 

That's an example of why you need to understand the basics here.  FICO is a company that makes credit scores.  It has nothing to do with managing and maintaining the actual data that are on your report.  The three groups that do that are Experian (EX), Equifax (EQ) and TransUnion (TU). 

 

Likewise you write: "I'm just wondering how badly my score will drop if this card ever falls off my credit report since it did on CK which is irrelevant....."

 

If this account was showing on CK and does not now that is in fact very relevant.  That's because CK shows you all the data from two of the three bureaus: EQ and TU.  Again, what is relevant is what was in your reports and what is showing now.

 

You can get free and frequent TU and EQ reports at  Credit Karma.  You can get a free monthly EX report at creditscore.com (plus a free FICO 8 score with it).

 

BBS and I encourage you to look closely at your actual three reports (ignoring scores) and then tell us what you see.  Does the account appear on it?  If not, do you have an older report to compare it to where it did?  Was it listed as Open or Closed?  If closed, what was the "Date Closed"?  Etc.

Message 4 of 12
Dinosaur
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Ghost credit card?


@Anonymous wrote:

When looking at your credit report what is the information given associated with the account?  Does it state that it is open or closed?  Do you see information like the account number, credit limit, high balance, etc? 

 

If the card is open, that would be a great thing for you and I would act quickly to ensure that it stays open.  I'd contact the bank and tell them that you need a card sent to you immediately and put a $5 swipe on it right away.  An AoOA of 11 years verses 4 years is big.  If the account is closed, chances are it will vanish around 10 years from the date stated that it was closed. 

 

I'd like to hear a little more about this account for sure.


... or assuming the account is still on the report and helping in a positive way? Why "poke the bear" ... another old concept is "leave the sleeping dog lie"!

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Message 5 of 12
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Ghost credit card?


@Dinosaur

... or assuming the account is still on the report and helping in a positive way? Why "poke the bear" ... another old concept is "leave the sleeping dog lie"!


The account being on the report will either be open or closed.  Either way, it would be "helping in a positive way" in that the age of the account would be the OPs AoOA.  If it's closed, there's nothing the OP can do.

 

If it's open, the account stands a chance of being closed at any time and it's actually quite surprising that it hasn't yet been closed.  Perhaps since this is a smaller financial institution they do housekeeping less frequently, which has allowed the trade line to remain open without use for over a decade.  That being said, it would be in the best interest of the OP to get usage on that account ASAP.  If he were to call up and request a card be sent, I think the chances of the CSR saying "actually, you haven't used this card in a while so rather than honor your request since you now want to use it I'm going to do the exact opposite and close the account" is pretty slim.  If the account were closed, worst case scenario is that a dedade from now the OPs AoOA drops from 21 years to 14 years.  While it's a solid drop, it wouldn't be a night and day difference when it comes to scoring.

Message 6 of 12
CWA1984
Regular Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

The account is going to end up being closed.  It's Military Star I forgot that's not a bank but the actual exchange of the US Army and US Air Force.  Seeing as how I've been out of the military for over 11 years now I highly highly highly doubt I'd be able to get a card to use so I'm just going to have to deal with the account being shutdown.  It showed up on CK as having a 1,500 dollar limit which is funny since I never applied for it because at the time in my life I was very anti-credit cards since I grew up with my parents and my sister being irresponsible with credit cards and having massive debt because of it.  It's not until the last few years when I wanted to buy a house that I got credit card from my credit union.  I bought my home now so it's not a huge deal if the account gets closed.  I just don't want it to come back and bite me if I'm getting a loan for something 2 or 3 years from now and the account closes and messes with my credit history causing me not to get the loan I was aiming for.  

Message 7 of 12
CWA1984
Regular Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

 

@CreditGuyInDixie

 

Yeah, I'm still pretty green when it comes to fico and credit cards.  It's only in the last few months that I've been looking into how Credit Cards work and FICO even more recently.  I was using CK just get a base idea of where I was at since it's a free service.  Learning more about FICO and having other general questions is why I joined these forums.  As far as the account goes it was showing as a Military Star account with a $1,500 line on Equifax and Transunion on CK.  It's been off CK for about a month now.      

Message 8 of 12
CreditGuyInDixie
Super Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

When you say that it is off TU and EQ on Karma, do you mean that it is no longer open -- but is still on the reports as a closed account?  Or that it has been deleted altogether?

 

If it has been deleted altogether, do you have a copy of an older report (where the account is still on it)?  If so, I'd curious to hear whether it appeared as open or closed -- and if closed what the Date Closed was.  (Along with the date of that report.)

Message 9 of 12
CWA1984
Regular Contributor

Re: Ghost credit card?

It's been deleted altogether.  It did show is open with the amount on CK but now it's completely gone altogether.  I'd have to actually get a report since again I was more or less just using CK until recently and that showed it as being open.  Now when I check fico it still shows my oldest account as being 11 years old but I would have to get a full credit report to see if it's showing as open or closed.  Funny thing again though is I never applied for credit card in my life until just over 4 years ago so like I said in my first post it's kind of a weird deal.  

Message 10 of 12
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