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Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

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Valued Contributor

Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

I just read on another thread that Sychrony only reports $0 balances on a qurterly basis, and >$0 monthly.

 

Is this to be expected from any other creditors?

 

Thanks.




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Message 1 of 21
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

No, there may be a delay of up to 60 days for your reports to update, but they have to be reported every month. Chase is the only bank that will report a $0 balance differently, and they update immediately. Synchrony will report a zero balance every month. They have for me.







Message 2 of 21
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Senior Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?


@mikesonthemend wrote:

I just read on another thread that Sychrony only reports $0 balances on a qurterly basis, and >$0 monthly.

 

Is this to be expected from any other creditors?

 

Thanks.


Well,they were mistaken, Synchrony reports balances monthly whether it is a $0 balance or >$0 balance. But at least for my Lowes or Walmart store cards if it is a $0 balance they don't generate a statement, but they do report the $0 balance. I only use my Lowes card a couple times a year and when I look for previous statements the only ones that show up are the months I had a balance. For Walmart it's pretty much impossible to get a $0 balance statement because they generate rewards cashback credits when the statement cuts, but as I recall the months the statement cut with a buck or two credit balance they didn't generate a statement.


Message 3 of 21
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Established Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

It's certainly not routine, but I had a card with a zero balance that was reporting about once every 6 months. So it's possible. Nothing forces a lender to report, they report whenever they want. But 99% of them report monthly.

 

(I have since closed that account, it was an RBC Bank Visa)


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Message 4 of 21
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

Comenity is probably who you/they are thinking about. Comenity takes a long time to report a zero balance. I was able to speed up the reporting by requesting a zero balance letter.

Synchrony has reported a zero balance for me following a statement with a zero balance (all 15 accounts I have with them in my experience).
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Message 5 of 21
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Regular Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?


@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

No, there may be a delay of up to 60 days for your reports to update, but they have to be reported every month. Chase is the only bank that will report a $0 balance differently, and they update immediately. Synchrony will report a zero balance every month. They have for me.


Creditors are under no obligation to report anything, on any time scale.  What they do report has to be timely and accurate, but they don't have to report if they don't want to.  Reporting costs them money, so not reporting inactive accounts is fairly routine.  It's much less common that it was even a few years ago, and a number of creditors now report more than monthly  (usually to report  payment that results in a zero balance).  All of the credit bureaus fill in months between reports with an OK status, if there's not a late reported, when they get the next report. 

 

 


A few years ago (okay, going on twenty, sigh...) I worked for a company that reported our in house accounts.  Most of the accounts were opened to make a particular purchase, paid down, and not used again.  We mailed tapes once a month.  I wrote the reporting software; new accounts, accounts with late payements, and accounts paid to zero were always reported.  After that, I filled the tapes with active accounts with a balance, least recently reported first.  If there was still room on the tape, then open zero balance accounts, again in order of least recently reported, were put on.  Those probably only got reported in December and January, when lots of new accounts got opened.

Message 6 of 21
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?


@flan wrote:

@Brian_Earl_Spilner wrote:

No, there may be a delay of up to 60 days for your reports to update, but they have to be reported every month. Chase is the only bank that will report a $0 balance differently, and they update immediately. Synchrony will report a zero balance every month. They have for me.


Creditors are under no obligation to report anything, on any time scale.  What they do report has to be timely and accurate, but they don't have to report if they don't want to.  Reporting costs them money, so not reporting inactive accounts is fairly routine.  It's much less common that it was even a few years ago, and a number of creditors now report more than monthly  (usually to report  payment that results in a zero balance).  All of the credit bureaus fill in months between reports with an OK status, if there's not a late reported, when they get the next report. 

 

 


A few years ago (okay, going on twenty, sigh...) I worked for a company that reported our in house accounts.  Most of the accounts were opened to make a particular purchase, paid down, and not used again.  We mailed tapes once a month.  I wrote the reporting software; new accounts, accounts with late payements, and accounts paid to zero were always reported.  After that, I filled the tapes with active accounts with a balance, least recently reported first.  If there was still room on the tape, then open zero balance accounts, again in order of least recently reported, were put on.  Those probably only got reported in December and January, when lots of new accounts got opened.


Thanks for correcting that. I know they are not under obligation to report, not sure why I typed that.







Message 7 of 21
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Super Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

Just to summarize for everyone:

 

In any given month, a creditor is under obligation to report a $0 balance if BOTH of the following are true:

        * The $0 balance is recent (e.g. last 40 days, say)

        * The last reported balance was positive

 

This follows from the creditor's responsibility to make sure that the dollar amount that appears on the report is reasonably up to date.

 

Otherwise, in the case where the current balances is $0, but the creditor already reported that $0 balance the last time, the creditor is completely free not to continue to update that $0 figure every month.

 

Quite common among many CC issuers is to stop updating a zero balance after the 3rd or 4th month.  Some CC issuers, however, will continue to send a $0 update every month for a long time (years).

Message 8 of 21
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Moderator

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?


@Canadian-In-Seattle wrote:

It's certainly not routine, but I had a card with a zero balance that was reporting about once every 6 months. So it's possible. Nothing forces a lender to report, they report whenever they want. But 99% of them report monthly.

 

(I have since closed that account, it was an RBC Bank Visa)


In the old days it was standard for the bank to only report a revolving cards activity once every 90 days. There is no law requiring anyone to report.

Message 9 of 21
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Legendary Contributor

Re: Is it routine for creditors to only report zero balances quarterly?

Once a creditor has decided to first report an account to a CRA, they thereafter are required under FCRA 623(a)(2) to "promptly" update that reporting so as to maintain its current accuracy. 

 

The standard interpretation of "promptly" is monthly updating.

Thus, if information has changed from a prior month, there is an interpretation of statute that mandates monthly updating.

 

However, if the balance remains the same from a prior month, such as $0, there is no statutory requirement to report any update.

They can thus wait for a longer period, such as quarterly, before reporting.

 

Many creditors will simply choose to design their software so that all accounts, unless closed and paid, will be included in all monthly updates.  Any update may not legally be required, but it may be simpler to just do them all.......

Message 10 of 21
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