Old credit mistakes that reflect on credit reports & scores are points of concern for any borrower. Inmates are no exception when it comes to credit errors.

These mistakes have always raised eyebrows. They may end up hurting your imprisoned loved one’s credit scores. So, now is the time to make the relentless effort to resolve the old credit mistakes, before they get out of prison.

prison credit affairs

How Paying Off Debt Hurts Inmate’s Credit Scores

In some cases, prisoners have tried to “clean” their credit by simply paying off the old collection debts. This may, in turn, hurt an inmate’s credit score because paying a collection debt means:

  • Making your account delinquency seem recent since the last activity in the short term is usually updated and hence lowering your score
  • Acknowledging fault and accepting your debt and thereby validating the delinquent account
  • Updating your account to a paid collection which allows the delinquent account to continue to show on the credit report

When you simply pay off a collection debt, the creditor only updates the balance. So, your imprisoned loved one will still have a negative blemish on the credit report.

Reemerging Credit Delinquencies

In other cases, inmates have made new payments on old debts that would have fallen off their credit report. According to the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most negative credit items stop being reported after a period of seven years.

At that time, old debts fall off from the credit report of a debtor. If payment is made before this period elapses, then the old debt is usually reactivated and reaffirmed by the payoff.

This can adversely affect your credit score. Alternatively, this can be solved by making an agreement with the collection company to present a written proof to the credit bureaus to delete the account from your imprisoned family or friend’s credit reports.

The best way for an inmate to approach the credit debt is by consulting a professional. Always ask the experts. Before embarking on debt payment, exercise your well-outlined consumer rights.

With clean credit, your loved one can buy a home within two years of being released from prison.

With clean credit, your loved one can buy a home within two years of being released from prison.

Ordering Your Incarcerated Loved One’s Credit Reports Online

Ensure that you audit your credit report for accuracy as per the federal law. The best and fastest way to order your incarcerated loved one’s credit reports is through annualcreditreport.com.

There are numerous websites that allow you to get copies of credit reports. Some are free. Some are not. However, annualcreditreport.com was established specifically by the three main credit bureaus:

  1. Experian
  2. Equifax
  3. TransUnion

By US law, your loved one is entitled to one free copy of each credit report every single year, even while incarcerated. So, get permission from behind bars, then go to annualcreditreport.com and get all three copies of their reports, as well as yours.

Credit Repair Services for Prison Inmates

If you find there are errors on your imprisoned loved one’s credit reports, or there are numerous delinquencies, there’s help for you. With the right credit repair program, you can help them get theirs on track before they come home.

Do your part to help your family or friends repair their credit while they’re still behind bars. Get a free credit repair consultation to discuss your options. Click the icon below for details.

Abigael Shem

Abigael Shem has eight years of experience in academic, content, research and creative writing, editing and proofreading. developing any type of content is now an easy task for me. When she’s not writing, she enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, traveling and sports, especially football and basketball. Abigael is currently a regular blogger for the PRN nonprofit prison transportation blog.