What Are Tradelines and How Do They Affect You? (2024)

In this article:

  • What Are Tradelines on Your Credit Report?
  • What Are Tradelines Used For?
  • What Happens When You Are Removed From a Tradeline?
  • Check Your Credit Report Regularly

A tradeline is a term used by credit reporting agencies to describe credit accounts listed on your credit report. For each account you have, there is a separate tradeline, which includes information about the creditor and the debt.

Understanding how tradelines work can give you a better idea of how to read your credit report and what lenders see when they check your credit.

What Are Tradelines on Your Credit Report?

For each revolving and installment credit account that you have, there's a tradeline for it on your credit report. Revolving tradelines include credit cards and lines of credit, while installment tradelines include loans, such as mortgages, auto loans, student loans and personal loans.

In addition to identifying the debt itself, a tradeline includes information about the account. That information typically includes:

  • Lender's name and address
  • Type of account
  • Partial account number
  • Current status
  • Date the account was opened
  • Date the account was closed, if applicable
  • Date of last activity
  • Current balance
  • Original loan amount or credit limit
  • Monthly payment
  • Recent balance (for credit cards only)
  • Payment history

This information allows you to view all the relevant information about each of your credit accounts in one place. The information for tradelines is provided by the lenders as they report the most recent information they have about your accounts.

Keep in mind, however, that lenders may differ in how they report your information, so you might see some variations in information across tradelines.

What Are Tradelines Used For?

The information included in your tradelines is primarily used to calculate your credit scores. Because a credit score is just a snapshot of your creditworthiness, however, lenders may also check the tradelines on your credit report to get more information.

If you're behind on payments with a certain account, for instance, a lender might check the tradeline to find out how long the account has been delinquent. Or if your credit scores have dipped because you have a high utilization rate on a credit card, a creditor can determine whether you're really a credit risk by checking the balance versus the credit limit.

If your limit is $300, for instance, maxing out the card might not be as much of a red flag as if your limit were $10,000.

What Happens When You Are Removed From a Tradeline?

If you're an authorized user on a credit card, you or the primary cardholder may choose to remove you from the account. If this happens, the tradeline will no longer appear on your credit report.

If the tradeline had positive information that was helping boost your credit scores, the removal could have a negative impact on your scores. On the flip side, it could help your credit scores if the credit card account has a high utilization rate or issues with payment history.

You may also request to have a tradeline removed if it was created fraudulently. In this case, removing a tradeline can be a good thing for your credit because it gets rid of an unauthorized account that may have negative information attached to it.

Check Your Credit Report Regularly

The tradelines on your credit report provide a wealth of information to both you and lenders. To make sure all the information contained in your tradelines is accurate and legitimate, check your credit report regularly.

You're entitled to one free credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) every 12 months. You can also get free credit monitoring and access to an updated credit report from Experian every 30 days when you sign in. As you review your tradelines frequently, you'll have a better chance of spotting fraud and inaccuracies before they damage your credit scores significantly.

What Are Tradelines and How Do They Affect You? (2024)


How do tradelines affect your credit? ›

Typically, a tradeline appears on your credit report when you open a new account. This may have a slight negative impact on your credit score due to a hard inquiry. Once they're on your credit report: Tradelines stay on your credit reports as long as accounts are active.

What is the meaning of tradelines? ›

Tradelines represent things such as credit accounts, loans and collections on credit reports. There are nuances in how credit bureaus display tradelines. Tradelines and credit reports directly affect credit scores. Tradelines can also be used to judge things such as credit applications.

What are the benefits of a tradeline? ›

People often use tradelines for personal credit to strategically boost their credit score. For instance, positive tradelines with a history of on-time payments can elevate your creditworthiness. On the flip side, negative tradelines that indicate missed payments can have the opposite effect.

What are the cons of tradelines? ›

Buying a tradeline is one way to improve your credit score, but it can be costly, and you could be putting yourself at risk of identity theft. What's more, lenders consider the practice to be deceptive. As a result, buying tradelines isn't advised, and there are better ways to build your credit.

Are tradelines risky? ›

It's important to note that mismanaging your trade lines can have serious implications on your credit scores. Instances of late payments, defaults or high balances can tarnish your credit history.

Are tradelines good or bad? ›

Experian warns that buying tradelines could put you in danger of committing bank fraud. If you pay money to piggyback on a stranger's credit card and then misrepresent your true creditworthiness to a lender when you borrow money, it could be a problem — especially if you later default on the loan.

How does tradelines work? ›

A trade line is an important record-keeping mechanism that tracks the activity of borrowers on their credit reports. Each credit account has its own trade line. Borrowers will have multiple trade lines on their credit report, each representing the individual borrowing accounts for which they have been approved.

How long does a tradeline stay on your credit? ›

Positive tradelines, such as credit cards, loans, and other types of credit accounts, can remain on your credit report indefinitely as long as they are active and in good standing. However, closed accounts with positive payment histories typically remain on your credit report for 10 years.

What happens when you add a tradeline? ›

Quite simply, credit accounts can often have more than one authorized user. If you ask someone you have a trusting relationship with to add you to their account as an authorized user, the tradeline will be added to your credit report. This means you can benefit from the other person's positive repayment history.

How fast will a tradeline boost my credit? ›

Seasoned tradelines are considered to be the best tradeline. It can significantly affect your credit score because of its credit history. A report by Finance Monthly states that purchasing 2-3 seasoned tradelines can help increase your credit score by 720-850 in just one month.

How long does it take for a tradeline to boost credit score? ›

Seasoned tradelines can show up on your credit report in as little as 7-11 days, and sometimes even faster, but this depends on many factors, including the date the AU is added and the reporting period of the tradeline.

How much does a tradeline boost your credit? ›

Positive Impact: Tradelines with a positive payment history on accounts in good standing can be beneficial. They can Increase the number of credit lines you have, which factors into your credit mix (10% of your score). Lengthen your credit history, especially if the tradelines are seasoned accounts (15% of your score).

Do tradelines give you money? ›

People make money by selling their authorized user tradelines. While you may not reach earning $1,000 per hour, you may earn a side income. There are some risks that come with selling tradelines, such as potentially getting your account shut down if you add to many authorized users.

Is it good to add tradelines to your credit? ›

Why add tradelines? Having too few tradelines in your credit history can make you "unscorable" or mean you have a "thin credit file." Either of those can get in the way of having a good credit score. Having more than three tradelines lifts you out of thin-file territory.

Do tradelines show up on credit report? ›

A tradeline is an account that appears in your credit report. Examples include credit cards, mortgages, personal loans and auto loans. When a credit bureau is asked for your credit score, the tradelines in your credit report are used to generate that score.

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