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Will a New Credit Card Change My Credit Score?

Christopher Maag

Credit does not have to be complicated. We sometimes receive questions that can be vexing to an average consumer, but to a true credit expert it is actually quite simple. Reader Mike Smothers asked us just such a question recently:

“When a credit card company issues me a new credit card,” he wrote in response to a recent story, “is this reported to the credit bureaus?”

And here’s the response from Barry Paperno, Credit.com’s credit scoring expert: “Yes.”

Basically, every time you do something new with credit — get a new credit card or loan, pay off a student loan, apply for a mortgage — that event is recorded as part of your credit history, and figured into your overall credit score.

Smothers has another straightforward question: “Are the credit bureaus required by law to share this information with the other credit bureaus?”

To this Paperno says, “No.”

The reason why the credit bureaus typically don’t share data about consumers’ new credit cards, and why they’re not required to, is that it’s usually done for them by the credit card issuers.

“It’s a voluntary system,” Paperno says. “So most likely his issuer will report separately to each of the three major bureaus.”

So Smothers doesn’t have to worry about getting credit for his new credit card, and he doesn’t have to worry about whether all the different credit bureaus will share the information. Creditors really like to know when people get new credit cards or loans, and most of them share this information freely and quickly with the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

While it’s never a good idea to obsess over your credit score, you should make sure you are proactive about monitoring your credit. You should pull a free copy of your credit report at least once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com, and you can monitor any changes to your credit score on a monthly basis using the free Credit Report Card.

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