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Bob lives in the United States. Bob didn't pay for a bill, and the bill was sent to a third-party debt collector. When will it start affecting Bob's credit score? For example, will Bob's credit score be affected even if the debt collector hasn't contacted any credit bureau yet?

  • "hasn't contacted any credit bureau" I know credit agencies are all-pervasive, but I don't think they've adopted telepathy yet... – TripeHound Jan 12 '18 at 8:08
  • @TripeHound what do you mean? – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 12 '18 at 8:18
  • If no one's told the credit bureaux (that a debt has been passed to a collection agency), and the credit bureaux determine one's credit score, how can the score have changed? – TripeHound Jan 12 '18 at 8:21
  • @TripeHound credit bureau could contact debt collector. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 12 '18 at 10:17
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Credit scores change when something good or bad happens to your file. Companies that extend you credit by issuing you a credit card or loan, report the presence of your account to the credit bureau. Once the credit bureau knows the account exists they can use it in their calculations.

Other bills only get reported when the debt goes to collections. There is no way the credit bureaus could contact every collection agency about everybody in their credit files to see if they have an amount in collections.

How long does it take for a collections agency to report it? No idea. But I wouldn't count on them being slow.

  • Thank you for the information. "How long does it take for a collections agency to report it? No idea. But I wouldn't count on them being slow." -> do collections agency systematically report all their accounts to the credit bureaus at some point? Or do they only report a subset of it? – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 12 '18 at 23:04

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