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Take notice: How your credit history can affect your monthly bill

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When you apply for things like cable or satellite TV, mobile phone service, or internet service, the company might review your credit report. They can use the information in your credit report to give you less favorable terms, meaning they can charge you more for the service than someone with a better credit history. That’s called risk-based pricing. The law says it’s OK as long as the company lets you know about it by sending you a Risk-Based Pricing Notice.

The FTC says Sprint violated the law because it imposed a monthly fee of $7.99 on customers with a lower credit score and failed to tell them about the negative information in their credit report, as required by law. Sprint has agreed to pay $2.95 million to settle the charges.

A Risk-Based Pricing Notice tells you three important things.

  1. The less favorable credit terms you received are based on information in your credit report.
  2. You can get a free copy of your credit report.
  3. You have a right to dispute mistakes in your credit report.

If you get a Risk-Based Pricing Notice, order a free copy of your credit report and review it. If your credit report contains incorrect information, you can dispute those mistakes. Take these steps:

  1. Send the credit reporting company a dispute letter. Here’s a sample you can use.
  2. Send the information provider—the company that provided the information about you to the credit reporting company—a dispute letter. Here’s another handy sample letter.

Here’s another tip: The next time you get your bill, review it to see if there are unauthorized charges. Contact the company about any fees you have questions about. If you can’t resolve the issue, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thank you for all the good info you provide for us.

Excellent article. Thanks!

Have the same thing going on with Dish Network T V , Most if not all these Big Company's are Crooks and some seem to get busted more that others

The first time yes I said like that. But this is Family company. The Ownership is my mother, my Father, my step mother and my brother. I feel hurt, i should getting the Billings statement estimated. Everybody says why you not doing to take funds must be returned by the bank. But i learning about marketing from banks. I knows marketing bank will be sale information until next bank so easy to use debitur informations. I land I understand if bank should be giving targets for marketing. The same with my fathers use my information with the bank to take any credits from the bank. And I understand many people's need money. But to giving the ownership understand about how much important if we starting about save money. Not for nowadays but for someday. I don't care about wrongly bills. I don't care about people's thinks. I'm thinking about someday. I think my employees 30 percent so old to be the operators engine. And now I try to saves mores money's. I am welcome to any marketing from any bank to give some benefits for our employees. I don't want moreover to looking my senior employees gone. And we are the owners cannot give benefits. Not anymore, enough. Just only 2 person my senior gone. I hope everybody's understand what I means. I says once mores, is not easy to be oldest. Meaner like a childhood, feel like a childhood, but they are we're heroes. Without they're who is I am, who we are? Regrets

It appears insurance companies do what ever they want and there is no recourse to the consumers. What can a consumer do when the insurance company increases the rate based on "Risk-Based Pricing" and there is nothing in your credit report that is of adverse nature and the credit score is above 750? Insurance business is nothing but a fraud, if truth be known.

I pay my water bill in 8 monthly installments ( the first 8 months of the bill year) So after the first payment I do not owe anything but am in front in payment, increasing each month. Why should this bill be called a debt and affect my credit rating? Do the water company pay their bills before they receive services or goods. Do they pay out wages before they have been earned? Thanks,

I liked the information. Thank you. I would like to know is thus apply for the car's insutance. I am 58 years old no tickets and my car is paid off. The only thing I have its one of those tickets for a pictured light ticket and I am paying a very expensive car insurance with geico. Is there laws for not advising me that probably be course of this ticket of those cámara light ticket my insurance is MIT expensive. I think is the reason why. I have asked why but they don't give me a resonance answer. Thank you is there a law like this for this specific situation ? Thank you

I did not know the more credit On the cards means more precent.Bealls and Belks

Thanks for the warning concerning using our credit report for extending credit to the consumer. Every business transactions will depend on how we pay our bills, no matter whether they are utilities, rent, mortgage, water, cell phone, car payments, car insurance, and any other monthly bill we pay her than those who monthly. So the laws of the land has told us of you are a credit risk, your charges will be higher and cost more from month to month. Late charges will be added and that goes against our credit reports. Thanks FTC for the warnings and will take heed to keep all bills paid monthly and on time.

Awesome information thanks FTC you are incredible

I think the "laws of the land" need to be changed! It's just not fair. Here I am trying to refi my mortage, so I shop around, find the best company, only to be told that because I shopped around and had different companies look at my credit, my credit score is TOO low to process the refi. Now I'm back to square one, have to wait 3 months before re applying. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Is there anything we can do?

The information in your credit report plays a big role in determining your credit score. It's very important to make sure your credit report is accurate. Under federal law, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit reporting companies once every 12 months. To get your free annual credit report, go to

If you find mistakes in your credit report, you can dispute them by contacting the credit reporting companies. This FTC article explains how to dispute errors.

If you were turned down for a loan, ask the creditor if it used a credit scoring system. Ask what factors are used in the system, and how you can improve your application. If you were turned down becuase of errors in your credit report, dispute the errors with the credit reporting company.

You can download or order a free print copy of Building a Better Credit Report to learn more.

What do you do when you dispute something and the creditor refuses to take it off. I had a loan and paid it off, got the title,printout that shows every payment was made and the creditor says it's not been paid on in 5 years and a $10,000 balance, now what?

This FTC article explains how to dispute errors on your credit report.

To start the dispute, write a letter to the credit reporting company. The article has a sample letter you can use. The article explains what to do if

  • a credit reporting company continues to report the item you dispute
  • a creditor continues to report an item you dispute

You can file a complaint about a credit reporting company with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I just found out my elderly mother has been getting charged $7.99 per month from Sprint and she didn't know why. How can I get her a refund?

You can contact the service provider.

My Mother contacted Sprint several times about the $7.99 per month charge and Sprint customer service could not or would not explain why she was getting charged that amount per month. She asked for them to remove it or credit her if they could not explain it. They just kept making one excuse after another. How can I help her get her money back? Thank you.

You may want to call again and see if you can reach a customer service representative who will give more information, or contact the department in your state government that oversees telephone service. It could be your state utility commission, or communications department, or something else. You can also file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission  and your state Attorney General’s office.

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