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How To Setup Credit Bureau Reporting

Once you have set up your account with the Credit Bureau(s) of your choice, you should have the information needed to set up credit reporting in Collect!.

We will go through several steps in this topic:

Setting Company Details

Your Company Details need to be entered. Some of this information is output to the credit bureau file. Also, in the DETAIL tab for the Company Details form there is one setting you need to use ONLY IF you are a Credit Grantor.

Company Details

The 'Credit Grantor' field is only switched ON if you are reporting as a Credit Grantor. This setting affects other credit reporting settings so only switch it ON if you are a Credit Grantor.

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Credit Bureau Setup

The Credit Bureau Setup form holds many global settings for your Credit Bureau information.

tip.gif When you set up your Account/Contract with the Credit Bureau of you choice, they supply some information that will help you set up the fields in the Credit Bureau Setup form.

Open the Credit Bureau Setup form using one of the methods shown in Credit Bureau Setup Basics.

Credit Bureau Setup

Now that you are looking at the Credit Bureau Setup form, let's discuss the fields. You will notice that there are 3 rows of fields called TU (Trans Union), Experian and Equifax.

These are the names of the Credit Bureaus. Here you will input your member information from the Credit Bureau.

You can report to one or several bureaus. If you are reporting to Trans Union, you will fill in the fields under TU. If you are reporting to Experian, you will fill in the fields under Experian. If you are reporting to Equifax, you will fill in the fields under Equifax. Please refer to information below for more details.

Let's discuss each field under each Credit Bureau's name.

tip.gif Before going on, make sure you know which Credit Bureau or Credit Bureaus you will be reporting to and that you have the information the Credit Bureau supplied to you in front of you to help you fill in the fields.

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Default Values For CBR Settings

Your unique subscriber codes will be placed at the top of the file that Collect! creates for you to send to the credit bureau.

  • If reporting to Equifax and/or Trans Union, place the Subscriber ID they give you into the " Credit Grantor" field.

  • If reporting to Experian, place the D-Number into the "Control Number" field.

  • Other fields are filled with defaults as shown in the screen shot.

It is important to fill in all fields for the credit bureau(s) of your choice in the Credit Bureau Setup form. Only a few fields hold actual values as indicated below. The rest of the fields should be filled with a default value, such as zeroes and one, as shown.

Credit Bureau Setup Settings

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Control Number

The Program Identifier or Control Number contains a unique identification record number assigned to you by the credit reporting agency. Unless otherwise specified, fill this field with 00001. (Alpha numeric, length 5)

If you are reporting to Experian, place the D-Number into the Control Number field.

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Credit Grantor

tip.gif This field is called either the Subscriber Code or the Membership Number by the credit bureaus. (Alpha numeric, length 10)

If you are reporting to Equifax and/or Trans Union, place the ID they give you into the Credit Grantor field.

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Center Code

The Computer Center Code uniquely identifies which data processing center generated the tape.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Area Code

The Area Code is used only if the data processing center produces files for more than one location. It contains an identity code, which should be developed by the subscribe for the location whose data is being reported.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 001. (Alpha numeric, length 3)

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Identification #

The Identification Number is used to uniquely identify a credit grantor. Report your internal code to identify each branch, office and/or credit center where information is verified. This number must be unique and at least five digits long. Note that the entire field should never be zero, blank or 9 filled. This field must be consistent on a month to month basis. Notify your credit bureau representative before changing this code.

Unless otherwise specified fill with 0000001. (Alpha numeric, length 7)

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The Drive Letter specifies the disk drive where Collect! will create your Credit Reporting file. If you enter C, you may get a file permission error in some operating systems. It is recommended that you map a drive to use for your credit bureau reporting files.

The resulting file names in this example would be:

TU.001 -- TU stands for Trans Union Credit Bureau

EXP.001 -- EXP stands for Experian.

EFX.001 -- EFX stands for is Equifax.

These are all the required fields.

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Optional Fields

The rest of the settings on the Credit Bureau Setup form are optional and depend on your requirements.

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Inhibit Phone Numbers

Switch ON 'Inhibit phone numbers' to prevent Collect! from sending phone numbers to the credit bureau. The output file will contain all zeroes in the phone number position. This ensures debtor privacy if you have unlisted phone numbers in your database. This is a global setting, it cannot be set on an individual account basis.

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Delay Report

When you first report credit on an account, you can schedule the report to be sent later, rather than immediately. The date can be changed manually.

To delay reporting, when turning on credit reporting, place a check mark in the box by pressing the spacebar or left-clicking the mouse when the cursor is in this field. The Delay Days field should now be visible.

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Delay Days

This field is visible only when you have chosen to Delay Report. Enter the number of days you would like to delay before sending of this report.

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Report As Credit Grantor

Switch this ON with a check mark if you are reporting as a Credit Grantor. If you are not sure, please leave this switch OFF and discuss your reporting status with your CBR representative.

Leave this switch OFF if you are operating a collection agency.

tip.gif If you are not sure if you are a credit grantor, discuss this with your CBR representative.

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Report By Industry

You can enter a specific Reporting Industry to include in your report. Only Debtors with this setting in the Credit Report Details Reporting Industry field will be processed for reporting.

This enables you to keep all your Collections accounts together in one report and all your Mortgage Loan accounts in a different report, for instance.

Valid Industry Codes are:

0 - Check Credit
1 - Collection Agency
2 - Credit Card
3 - Credit Union
4 - Debt Counselor
5 - Educational
6 - Family Support
7 - Government Agency
8 - Installment Loan
9 - Loan Finance
A - Mortgage Loan B - Retail C - Sales Finance D - Savings And Loans E - Service And Professionals

tip.gif These are also the choices for Reporting Industry found in the CBR tab for each Debtor.

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Report Charged Date

For credit grantors, switch this ON to report the Charged Date instead of the Listed Date as the credit bureau report's Date Opened. This only works when you have the 'Credit Grantor' switch enabled, as well.

tip.gif If you are reporting returned checks, Collect! automatically reports the Charged Date.

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No Posted Date Mods Delinquency

When this is switched ON, Collect! uses the Payment Date of the promise transaction as the Delinquency Date rather than allowing the default 30 day delay in determining delinquency.

tip.gif This is used only in Credit Grantor mode.

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Report Client Account Number

When this switch is ON, the Client Account Number field (Acct on the Debtor form) is transmitted as the account identifier to the Credit Bureaus.

By default, Collect! uses the Debtor File Number as the ID for credit bureau reporting. It is recommended that you leave Report Client Account Number switched OFF and let Collect! report using the Debtor File Number, unless you are sure you need to do otherwise.

tip.gif This only sends ALPHANUMERICS. Special characters and spaces are discarded.

Sending Client Account Number is useful for those who have previously reported accounts through another system. It gives a user the opportunity to import the old reported file number into Collect!'s account number. Then, switching ON Report Client Account Number would place the account number in the credit reporting output file.

tip.gif If you switch this ON, you must have a unique account number for every reported debtor and the account number must not change while you are reporting the account. If there is no account number on a debtor account, or there is a duplicate account number, the CBR vendor will fail the record.

This is sent as Base Segment Field #7 - Consumer Account Number.

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Report Owing In Past Due

Switch this ON with a check mark to report the Debtor's Owing in the Past Due position of the CBR file. Normally, this field is zero filled if you are not a credit grantor, but you can use this switch to fill it with the Owing.

Here is a screen shot of each Credit Bureau setup with default information as described above.

Credit Bureau Setup Settings

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At the bottom of the Credit Bureau Setup form, you will notice a DEFAULTS button. When you select this button, the Credit Report Preferences form is displayed. All the settings are set by default in Collect!. They are the most common settings used by the Credit Bureau. You can change these settings to meet your criteria. Contact your Credit Bureau if you have any difficulties with these fields.

tip.gif If you have Cosigners and you wish to report them, please choose Yes in the Cosigner box at the bottom right hand side of the Credit Report Preferences form.

Credit Report Preferences

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Credit Report Preferences

Select the DEFAULTS button on the Credit Bureau Setup form to view the Credit Report Preferences. These default settings are used for every account you switch ON for reporting. They can be changed globally or on a per debtor basis.

Credit Report Preferences

Default values from the Metro 2 Standard are provided for normal collection and credit management. If you are not sure which default values you should use, please discuss with your credit bureau representative.

tip.gif Press F1 from the Credit Report Preferences form for information about the fields on this form.

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Client Type

The Client Type field is used. In credit reporting terms, this is the Creditor Classification.

Open one of the Clients you wish to report and select the down arrow beside the Type field and pick a Creditor Classification from the list of choices.

tip.gif You must choose a valid creditor classification for each Client that you intend to report. If the choice you need is not in this list, please discuss this with your representative as these choices come directly from the Credit Reporting Guidelines.

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Client Settings

The Client Settings form stores several selections used by Collect! when reporting is switched ON for a Debtor and when the file is produced.

1. Open one of the Clients you wish to report and select the ADVANCED button.

Client Form with Advanced Button Highlighted

2. Select ADVANCED and the Client Settings form will now be displayed.

Client Settings Form

You will notice in the Client Settings form, that on the left side, three of the boxes relating to Credit Bureau reporting are checked.

Report accounts to bureaus When this is checked, Collect! knows that the Client is set to report credit. When this Switch is off, Collect will warn you that it is not set up to report credit.

Send client detail to bureaus When this is checked, the client's details will be sent to the Bureau. This is a requirement for Collection Agency reporting.

Delinquent 31 days prior to list Turn this switch ON to automatically fill in the debtor delinquency dates to 31 days prior to the Listed Date. This ensures that your debtors will be set up with a Delinquency Date, by default. If this switch is OFF, you have to manually fill in the delinquency date each time you set up an account for reporting to the Credit Bureau.

tip.gif It is always better to put in the exact Delinquency Date, if it is known, whenever you set up an account for reporting to credit bureaus.

*** IMPORTANT*** You must provide a delinquency date for all accounts reported to the Credit Bureau. The delinquency date appears on the Debtor form and is defined as the date of the first delinquency that led to the derogatory status being reported.

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K1 Segment Original Creditor Client Detail

You must be sure put a check in the box labeled Send client detail to bureaus in the Client Settings form to send the K1 segment.

The date an account is charged off or placed for collection is not the delinquency date. The delinquency date should be the date the account became 31 days past due. The date of the delinquency is necessary to purge accounts from the Credit Bureau database in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

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Debtor Information

warning.gif WARNING: Reporting credit is a legal matter. You are responsible for ensuring that the information you are sending is accurate and complete. Do not report credit without being ABSOLUTELY SURE about your legal rights and the legal rights of the person or entity you are reporting.

Many fields on the Debtor form are included in the credit report, so you need to make sure they are filled in correctly.

When sending reports to credit bureaus, it is the user's responsibility to make sure that the name and the address fields are in the required format.

tip.gif Press F1 from the Debtor and Cosigner forms to view details for entering information that pertains to credit reporting. Information sent to credit bureaus must be in an EXACT format.

The following information is entered in the Debtor form. Open each of the Debtors you wish to report and review the fields explained below.

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File Number

By default, Collect! sends the Debtor File Number of the account to the credit bureau. Once you start reporting to the credit bureaus, the Debtor's File Number must not change while the account is being reported.

You must not have duplicate File Numbers in your database. This is Collect!'s UNIQUE identifier for each account.

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The Name of the Debtor entered as ' Last, First Middle Initial'. Please ensure your spelling is correct. If you do not type a comma in the name, Collect! will assume the name is a business name.

Multiple last names must be hyphenated. e.g. Van-Deusen, Jack.

tip.gif Only enter one Debtor's Name in this field. If you have a Cosigner, use the Cosigner form.

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Use this field for generation, not the Name field. (Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.)

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For accurate reporting of addresses, checkout the handbook called Postal Addressing Standards at your local US Post Office. Use standard postal abbreviations for type of street.

For example, 'Pkwy' for Parkway or 'St' for Street

There are two acceptable address formats. Please note that the commas between City and State are required where shown below, and Address Line 1 is interpreted as a contact name only if there are no numbers in the field.

- Format 1:

- Address = street address
- Addr1 = blank
- City = city
- State = state
- Zip = zip
- Country = country code

- Format 2:

- Address = street address
- Addr1 = suite or apartment number
- City = city
- State = state
- Zip = zip
- Country = country code

tip.gif Do not include the # symbol in the apartment number. The Credit Bureau rejects addresses with the # sign. If no zip code is found, the address lines are ignored and not reported.

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Addr 1

Do not use words like "Suite", "Apt.", etc. or the '#' symbol, just enter the Number of the suite or apartment.

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Truncate the rightmost portion of this field to 20 characters, or use the standard 13-character U.S. Postal Service city abbreviations.

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Enter the State or Province code in this field. Us the correct Postal Service codes.

For Example: WA for Washington

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ZIP Codes

The zip code may be either 5 or 9 digits for U.S. zip codes, or 6 digits for Canadian postal codes.

For example: 12345-6789 or 123456789 for U.S. and X2Y 3Z4 or X2Y3Z4 for Canada.

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Enter the standard two-character country abbreviation.

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If SSN is not known, zero - or 9 - fill all positions.

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Date of Birth must be entered. If the month and day are not known, use 0101. The year is required.

tip.gif Please refer to F1 help from the Debtor form for additional information regarding fields for credit bureau reporting.

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Delinquency Date

You MUST provide a Delinquency Date for all accounts reported to credit bureaus. The Delinquency Date appears on the Debtor form and is defined as the date of the first delinquency that led to the derogatory status being reported.

If you do not fill in a Delinquency Date, the credit reporting function will use the Charged date, also known as the 'Date of Last Service' or 'Service Date' and will issue warnings to you.

tip.gif The date an account is charged off or placed for collection, is NOT the Delinquency Date. The Delinquency Date should be the date the account became 31 days past due.

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Credit Report Details

This form holds all the current settings for an individual who is being reported. This is where you switch ON credit bureau reporting for an account. Most of the fields fill automatically based on your other settings. Any field can be changed as needed provided you follow correct reporting practices.

Click to view details.
Debtor with Credit Report Details

The options used as default values when you report Debtor credit are set in the Credit Report Preferences form. These settings can be changed here, at the individual Debtor level, if necessary. In most cases, the defaults should be fine.

Collect! will update some of these settings throughout the life cycle of the debt. For instance, when an account balance reaches zero and the account is paid in full, Collect! automatically changes the Status Code that gets reported to the bureau. You may need to adjust settings manually, if you delete an account from the bureau or close it as "Settled in full," for instance.

Please press F1 from the Credit Report Details form for more information about these settings.

1. Select the CBR tab on the Debtor form to access this form.

Selecting the CBR tab for the Debtor

2. When you select the CBR tab, the Credit Report Details form is displayed.

Credit Report Details

3. Place a check mark in the Report to credit bureau box. Now this Debtor is set to be reported to the Credit Bureaus.

4. The rest of the fields are set up by default in Collect!, but it is your responsibility to ensure that they are correct.

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Start Reporting Field

Press F2 while in this field will bring up the Calendar where you can select the date that you wish to start reporting this Debtor to the Credit Bureau. You may also enter a date in the MM/DD/YY format.

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Set The Account's CBR Status

Collect! automatically sets the CBR Account Status as you work your accounts. If you need to manually change the status due to deleting an account from the bureau or reporting a bankruptcy, you can select the CBR tab at any time to display the current Credit Report Details and change the settings as needed.

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Reporting Cosigners

If you selected YES to report Cosigners, you must switch ON reporting in the Cosigner form for each cosigner that you wish to report.

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Cosigner Settings

If you are reporting Cosigners, additional fields need to be set up on each Cosigner that you are reporting. Select the COSIGNER tab on the Debtor form to access the Cosigners. Here is an example setup.

Cosigner with Credit Reporting Setup

tip.gif Press F1 when you are on the Cosigner form for details. Look for information labeled "FOR CBR:"

Please note that Name and Address fields on the Cosigner form must be filled in correctly, just as for the Debtor, if you are reporting the Cosigner to the Credit Bureau.

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Credit Reporting setup must be completed in several areas of Collect! as described in this topic. Once you have set up all the areas, Collect! automatically updates accounts as needed so that the information that is output to your file is always the latest information for each debtor. It is your responsibility to examine this data and make sure you are satisfied with the results. If needed, you can manually change settings for special cases such as deleting accounts from the bureau.

warning.gif WARNING: Reporting to Credit Bureaus is a legal matter and you may be sued for providing incorrect or out of date information! Collect! cannot take responsibility for the correctness of the data that you submit. You must verify your data!

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See Also

- How To Run A Credit Bureau Report
- Credit Bureau Reporting Topics

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