Home > Managing Debt > Tax Help: How to Dispute A 1099-C Form

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In 2006, “Anne” and her husband negotiated a settlement on credit card debt of $7,500 with one of the country’s biggest banks for roughly $2,900, wiping out just over $4,500 in debt. But just recently, the couple received a 1099-C from the credit card issuer reporting $16,000 in cancelled debt for the 2011 tax year. Both the amount and the dates are wrong, contends Anne (which is not her real name). Even though she has a copy of the settlement letter from the bank spelling out the terms of their agreement six years ago, a bank representative refuses to correct the 1099-C, stating that her husband had a separate credit card debt that triggered the form. Anne says that’s not true. “What can I do,” she asks?

Her story raises and important issue: what are taxpayer’s rights when lenders send 1099-C forms that are in dispute?

Start by trying to get the company that issued the 1099-c to correct it, advises Scott Tufts, a board certified tax lawyer with the Tufts Law Firm in Maitland, Florida. “The smartest move is to go to the source, even through the bureaucracy of the company. Document your reason for disagreement with the form,” he advises.

But as Anne’s story illustrates, getting through bank bureaucracy doesn’t always work. She said that after the bank representative refused to help, she told him she would be hiring an attorney to help her. “He ‘transferred’ me to another department, and the phone disconnected!” she told us in an email.

“What the IRS tells you to do is to call the bank to get it corrected but if you’ve ever talked to the bank, you know how far that’s going to go,” says Edward Zollars, a CPA and partner with the tax practice of Thomas, Zollars and Lynch in Arizona. “It’s kind of a mess,” he warns.

Cancelled Debt Isn’t Always Cancelled

I’ve written a series of articles about 1099-Cs and 1099-As, but to recap, these forms are used by lenders report cancellation of debt (COD) income to the IRS. The IRS generally considers cancelled debt to be income and it’s up to taxpayers who receive these forms to either include that amount in their income when filling out their tax returns, or demonstrate to the IRS why the amount should be partially or completely excluded.

The term “cancelled debt” in itself may be misleading. While these forms are sent to consumers who have negotiated settlements on debts for less than the full balance, or who have negotiated short sales on their homes, the IRS also requires that lenders notify them when there has been no significant collection activity on a debt for 36 months. The creditor may still decide to try to collect the debt at a later date, even though a 1099-C has been sent.

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  • Jay

    I received a 1099c for the HELOC settlement by paying $20K on the loan of $106K.
    1099c was for $86K. The settlement was because there was no equity in my primary residence. Can this be disputed since there was no equity on the home?

  • Jay

    I received a 1099c for the HELOC settlement by paying $20K on the loan of $106K.
    1099c was for $86K. The settlement was because there was no equity in my primary residence. Can this be disputed since there was no equity on the home?

  • PJ

    I recently received a “1099-C” from “[redacted]”. Indicating that an amount greater than 1,100.00 has been “forgiven” and that I need to file this with the IRS.
    Problem is, I have no clue why I have received this since I never owed any debt to this company, or the original claimed “creditor” they “bought” the so called “debt” from.
    The original company (Verizon wireless), has already confirmed that I do not, nor have I ever had ANY accounts with them, let alone any delinquent or otherwise “collectable” accounts on file. They don’t understand how or why [redacted] is claiming this, since they ARE the company that they, (Verizon) “sell” off old debts too; furthermore, they can do nothing to help since they don’t have any information on what account this shady company is/was trying to collect on!
    I’ve tried multiple times to contact someone at this “collection agency” to no avail, just put on hold and eventually hung up on each and every time I call them to find out how and why they are using my personal information, and claiming a debt is owed to them when I can prove otherwise.
    This “1099-C” was the first instance of any kind of notice I have ever had from said company, and at this point, I will be filling fraud charges with the IRS, as well as Identity theft charges among other things.
    My questions in this matter are as follows:
    1.) How can I stop this obviously fraudulent and shady “collection agency”, (which apparently is operated/owned by several small shady law firms from my research gathered so far…) from bombing my credit reports and killing my score. They have been doing so ever since I contacted them, but not once before I received this BS 1099-C on a debt I clearly do not owe them, and did not owe the claimed creditor (Verizon) from day one?
    2.) How do I report this obvious fraud to the IRS? Form 882? is not the right one, another was mentioned to me, a “630??? something” but I can’t find any mention. calling them up is no help at all, total idiots who don’t want to do any kind of work to help someone who is obviously in need of it.
    3.) Any info as to the proper agencies I need to contact in NY as to get help in suing/prosecuting the individuals responsible for perpetrating this fraud (as the company is in MN. and I have no clear intention of going out there to handle this.)?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You can try asking the collection agency for written verification of the debt – they are required to provide this by law. You also may want to monitor your credit for identity theft, since fraudulent accounts are a sign it is occurring. These articles may also prove helpful:


      Thank you,


      • PJ

        As I said, no one in the “company” (why was their name “redacted”? Seeing how they are ripping off quite a lot of people in this scam…) will talk to me. Any calls result in being put on hold and then either being hung up on, or just sit there for hours on end with no one answering.
        How can this company validate a debt the original “creditor” verified never existed? Especially when they don’t respond to ANY form of communication…
        I’m not worried about someone having stolen my identity and used it for whatever purposes… this company has blatantly used my ID/info to claim I owe a debt that they have no proof of, and already submitted a 1099-c to the IRS. I want to know how I can have the IRS disregard this and have them investigate the companies claim as a fraudulent one.

        • Jeanine Skowronski

          If the company is refusing to speak to you or provide written proof of the debt, they are likely in violation of the FDCPA. You may want to consult a consumer attorney about a claim or a tax attorney/accountant about how to dispute the 1099-C.

          Thank you,


  • jenpowell1976

    I just received a 1099C from [redacted] for a mortgage debt (2nd mortgage, on my principal residence) that was discharged in bankruptcy in 2008. I tried calling the number on the 1099C, it says they are now closed although I was within the “normal business hours” they give. I then called [redacted] main number and got transferred to 5 different people. Would I just fill out a 982? I looked at the form and it didn’t give any option for bankruptcy. I’m not sure what to do.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You may want to consult a consumer attorney or tax accountant about your best options.

      Thank you,


  • Tindy McPhate

    We received a threatening phone call about a debt that is completely fake, non existent. The person cooked up an amount and is now threatening us with a IRS 1099C. He somehow has my husband’s information. I’m trying to ask IRS what we can do about a FAKE 1099C. Do you know where I go to report this attempt to extort us using a 1099C to gum up our taxes? TIA

  • Exis Davis

    Can a 1099-c be filed more then once? Example: If the original creditor sold the debt off to a collection agency but the original creditor already sent me a 1099-c can the new debt collector who now owns the debt file the 1099-c again?

  • KC614

    We never received the 1099C’s yet the IRS is trying to collect. We have no idea what it is so it’s hard to respond and God knows the IRS is no help.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Sounds like a mess. Have you tried the Taxpayer Advocate? And have you requested a wage andincome transcript for the year in question?

      • KC614

        I have my taxes from the year they claim it was written off (2013) but I never received the 1099c…would that be on the transcript?

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          It should be since it was reported as income to you.

  • MattM

    Thanks for the great advice. I revived a 1099-c for the entire amount of my cc debt from a bank whom used the services of a debt collector to settle with me. I payed over half of the debt off and only settled for half the amount they are claiming in the 1099-C I’m going to reach out to the bank immediately but need to file my taxes right away. Should I file for the Actual amount settled or not accept the 1099-c at all? Would the Debt collector be the one who needs to send the 1099-c or the instatution? HELP

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Whomever filed the 1099-C should correct it. In the meantime, though, if you are going to file you need to address the discrepancy. This more recent article explains how: The Little-Known Form for Avoiding a Big Tax Bill

  • William brown

    Hi, I had a agreement to forgive some off my home mortgage after 36 months. This year i got a 1099 c for at amount after only 12 months. That amount has not been forgiven off my home loan and I have already filed my taxes and received my returne before 1099c got mailed. Would I be wasting my time talking to the irs about this?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Probably. You need to find out why the creditor sent a 1099-C before the debt was forgiven. They can do that in certain cases where there is no collection activity for 36 months but I don’t know why they are sending it now. Have you tried talking with them? There should be contact information on the 1099-C.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Clearly there is a mismatch between what they are reporting and what’s actually happening. But disputing these forms is not always a simple process. I wrote a more recent article that may be of help: The Little-Known Form for Avoiding a Big Tax Bill

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    If it is not his debt he’ll need to dispute it. More recent instructions can be found here: The Little-Known Form for Avoiding a Big Tax Bill

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    You may want to start with our guide: 1099-C In the Mail? How to Avoid Taxes on Cancelled Debt

    From there if you still don’t understand what to do with this form, contact a tax professional with experience in these forms. (Not all have expertise in them.) this is a large amount of money so you’ll want to make sure you look at all your options for reducing or eliminating the amount you owe.

  • Jillian

    I received a 1099-C for a line of credit from FIA card services (AKA Bank of America). I have already filed my taxes and received a refund. I filed married filing jointly. This was a line of credit in my name only. Now what do I do? I don’t believe I should pay as I have $100,000 in student loans, my house is not worth what I owe. Do I have to file an amended tax return or can I fill out the forms and not file an amended return because it is only in my name? Please help.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    There is no specific place to do that. I have written a more recent and up to date article about disputing these forms that I think you will find helpful: The Little-Known Form for Avoiding a Big Tax Bill

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Robert – If you received a 1099-C for a debt that you paid in full, then it is my understanding is you should first demand the company file a corrected 1099-c with the IRS showing 0 as the amount of cancelled debt. If they won’t, then you dispute the 1099-c with the IRS. I just wrote about that in this new article: The Little-Known Form for Avoiding a Big Tax Bill

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Good to hear!

  • Janet

    How many years does a mortgage company have to send out a 1099-C?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      They are supposed to send it out for the year in which an identifiable event occurred. We explain that in this article: 1099-C: The Worst Tax Mess of the Year?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    Hi Bill – I am researching this. Hope to have more info within the week or so.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    The IRS will assume you should have included that amount in your income and you may get a notice sometime later stating you owe the IRS (if it results in a higher tax bill). You have to explain to the IRS that you don’t believe you owe the debt. We wrote about that topic in this article: Tax Help: How to Dispute A 1099-C Form

  • John

    I never received a 1099-C from a creditor or collection but I received a certified letter from the IRS last week notice of deficiency that a collection agency reported about $5000. Now the IRS said that I have to pay about $1700 in taxes. The debt is so old that I don’t’ even remember probably from 1998. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Oh jeesh. John, if this were me, I would first contact the IRS and tell them I never received the 1099-C in question and I’m not sure it is correct. I’d ask them how to request a copy. (They may advise to order a wage and income transcript.) It is essential to have that information to figure out how to respond. (Please note I am not a tax professional and can’t give tax advice.)

  • http://www.returnthedeed.com Hilton Wiener

    I often dispute the 1099-C’s received by my clients and also write an opinion letter stating that it is not forgiveness of indebtedness when the facts indicate the settlement of a bona fide dispute. Again, it depends upon the facts of the case.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Thanks for weighing in!

  • Carlos

    I received a 1099-C for cancelled debt on Dec-2011. I filled bankruptcy on July 2012 and that debt was included on it. Now, the IRS sent me a modification to my tax return on 2011, but the original creditor say they sent the 1099-C before I filled the bankruptcy.
    A simple 982 form could be my better solution to avoid pay taxes for that or I have to send to the IRS a copy of my bankruptcy paperwork ?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      It’s a little tricky and I am not a tax professional so I definitely want to be careful about giving you any advice. My understanding is that if they sent the 1099-C before you filed for bankruptcy then it’s possible that it doesn’t qualify for the bankruptcy exclusion. However, you may have qualified for the insolvency exclusion at that time. Check out the insolvency worksheet in publication 4681 and see if it looks like you qualified at right before this 1099-C was triggered. If so, then filing Form 982 and claiming that exclusion may be the way to go. If you have any questions, though, it would be a good idea to meet with a tax professional with experience in this area.

      • Carlos

        Thanks for your reply. Indeed, I called the IRS and said that I had done chapter 7 bankruptcy and they told me I won’t pay anything. Days later I received a letter from the IRS telling me that they had closed the case and that the amount due was $ 0.
        It was very simple.
        Thank you

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Fabulous! I love hearing success stories. 🙂

  • 1099-C

    Which part of the article explains how to dispute the 1099-C?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I know it’s confusing since the IRS has no specific form for disputing these. To summarize my article, start with the company that generated the 1099-C and try to get them to correct it. If they won’t, then provide the IRS with an explanation as to why you don’t believe it is correct.

  • Charlotte

    I received a 1099-C form from Bank of America saying the credit card debt was “discharged”. I paid the full balance immediately after my husband died. I contacted the estate department of Bank America who acknowledge I did pay the full balance and this was submitted in error. I had already paid my taxes not claiming income on the 1099-C because I was told two weeks prior that a corrected form would be sent. I contacted them again 12days later when a corrected form was not received and was told I needed to refile my taxes and they would not be sending a corrected form. I don’t understand as this is clearly their mistake and could cause me a great deal of problems with the IRS. I thought they were required to send a corrected form. What do I do now?.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Charlotte – The bank is most certainly obligated to file a corrected for with the IRS and send you a corrected copy. Call them again and explain that if they don’t send the corrected form, you will be filing complaints with the IRS and the regulators. If they refuse, then call the IRS and ask them how to proceed. Also send a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      Let us know what happens next OK?

  • Gwen Post

    Same old story….I received two 1099C’s from Asset Acceptance for about $900 each. They are for debts that are apparently over 21 years old and for debts that have never been verified. Asset Acceptance contacted me about 10 years ago about these debts and back then I said I was not aware of this debt and didn’t believe it belonged to me. In my case, after 21 years, what could possibly be the “identifiable event” that triggered a 1099C? In addition, after 21 years, what information could I possibly provide to the IRS to dispute this debt?

    • peg

      Gwen (and all of us really – especially with Asset Acceptance) The FTC is interested in this especially since I wrote to tell them that Asset Acceptance is still at it (meaning their scammy ways of extorting old old debt to make a profit for themselves) They were fined for other issue to the tune of 25million i believe so I contacted the people on that case and explained what these phony 1099-c are doing to consumers and in reality the gov since they are getting a fraudulent write off in I would say about 98% of their filings – these zombies only deal with old debt buying them off the stock market in portfolios for extremely less than what they are claiming on them – the whole thing is a scam really. If this was something to be done way back when our accts were charged off – I could of accepted it (tho still be mad about it since if wasn’t insolvent it wouldn’t of happened right?) so please do file complaints also with the FTC against em as well as the other gov offices mentioned in the articles and replys.

  • penny gallagher

    I settled with a Credit Card (Chase) in 2011 by paying half and have the letter on file of their agreement with settlement in full. I know received a 1099C dated 2012. How can they issued a 1099C for a past year settlement?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Penny – the IRS instructions for this form are pretty clear on this point. Its says: When To File Generally, file Form 1099-C for the year in which an identifiable event occurs. (Then later): “6. A discharge of indebtedness under an agreement between the creditor and the debtor to cancel the debt at less than full consideration.” They need to issue a corrected 1099-c but then you will have to deal with it on your 2011 return if you didn’t already. I wrote more about disputing wrong 1099-C forms in this article: Tax Help: How to Dispute A 1099-C Form

  • Jerry

    Doug, I am in the same boat as you, with the same issue from Asset Acceptance. I just filed, before I got the papers. They have me on the hook for $5k.

    I am curious what responses you get. I paid them a good sum from the debt, and basically they’re saying that it was all interest, since $0 appears in box 3

  • Doug

    I just received a 1099 from Asset Acceptance, a debt buyer that I settled a Bank of America account last year. It was a 4 year old debt that was passed on to a few collectors before Asset. They are reporting a debt forgiveness of 6000. I was planning to efile this month for my refund, but would like to dispute this with the Irs. I believe Asset probably paid little from the debt and made a profit. It was a charge off account. I’d be grateful for any advice on how to dispute this

    • Gerri Detweiler


      Did you settle it in 2012? It doesn’t matter how much they paid for the debt – what matters is how much they forgave in the settlements. At least that’s how the IRS looks at it according to my research. Do you have that information in any kind of written format? A settlement letter perhaps?

  • Austin W

    Is one required to report interested accrued on student loan minus the amount settled for or only the difference between what was originally borrowed and what they settled for? Thanks for your help:) sorry if I’m being unclear.

  • Rebecca A

    So I have 2 1099-c’s for the Same account with Chase, different settlement dates ( one 2011 and 1 2012). It was cx’d in 2011. For diff amounts ( 20k and 22k). Please Help!!!

  • Rebecca A

    Oh, the 2012 1099-c I received from Chase for the SAME ACCT said it was settled Jan 10, 2012…. Incorrect!

    • http://www.Credit.com Gerri

      Rebecca – Clearly their records aren’t correct. First, contact Chase and insist they send you a corrected 1099-C. Keep good notes/records of your conversations with them in case they fail to do anything.

      Then contact your CPA for advice on how to file an explanation. I’d also encourage you to take the same advice I gave to Mr. D above and file complaints.

  • Rebecca A

    I short sold a condo in 2011…. I was “forgiven” of the debt for the primary mortgage and settled the debt for the HELOC (both by Chase) before the end of the 2011 tax year. I received 1099-c forms for both of these mortgages stating the the debts had been cancelled as of 05/2011. I claimed both of these on my taxes and filled out the 984(?) and was not held responsible for the amount d/t the Forgiveness act(?). All done of course thru a CPA. Anyhow, my husband and I just filed our 2012 tax returns and Yesterday I received yet Another 1099-c on the same HELOC account with the previous balance + $2k!! Why am I receiving this??!!! Chase has been a NIGHTMARE!!

  • Jen

    Back in 2005, I pulled my credit report as a victim of I’d theft. A bank had a trade line listed for under $1,000. I contacted the bank, wrote to and had conversations with the executive office. I received a letter from the bank stating my name, social security number, or address could not be found, they claimed to have no record of the account and put it in writing. They assisted by removing the derogatory trade line. Flash forward 6 years to 2011 where the bank sends the 1099C. I had no idea what is was about, but scanned my hard drive for the alleged account number. The same dollar amount and number came up on the copies of letters and files from the disputed account they said they knew nothing about. I called the bank and no one seemed to have information about the alleged debt, first they claimed it was a paycheck for work I did for them in 2010. I told them I did not work for them. Then the story changed and the 1099C was for the balance on a defaulted car loan. I never had a loan with the bank. Then they changed the story to a payday loan. I contested that, then finally it was some checking account where I allegedly bounced a check. When I told them we needed to investigate and I wanted proof of the debt, they said they did not have to provide it because they were not asking me to pay anything. The person I spoke to was from the executive office I dealt with in 2005 and they buy claims he had records of the account when the woman who handles the case in 2005, who sits next to him. They refused to correct their records. They refused to investigate. The IRS would not help intervene. The IRS to,d me to leave it off my tax return as earned income and wait until I get audited, then file my appeal. Surely there is a better way,

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Jen – I agree with you 100%. There has got to be a better procedure for disputing inaccurate 1099-C forms. (And if the bank really thought there was a cancelled debt, they should have sent the form within three years after no substantial collection activity – not 7! )

      You may want to consider filing a complaint against the bank with their regulator. And send a copy to your elected officials in DC. The IRS is a federal agency and they need to hear what their constituents are dealing with.

    • Mr. D

      What you have said Jen is what I was actually looking for, a way to dispute the form itself.

      I was 17 and took a loan from my boss where I was working at the time to get a working vehicle. Later, I was fired from the boss who then told me to go get another loan as they would no longer accept my payments (I had a friend who was going to try to help). 17, no job, and going to high school still – no way to get a loan and finally they came and took the vehicle back. I probably owed around 2400 on the vehicle, they sold it for 5500 (I actually knew the guy who bought it).

      Ten years later I get this form and I am clueless on what to do with it. It shows a debt for 3500 which doesnt make sense since they actually made money on the vehicle, how can this be? I tried to see if I could track down the person by the Creditor number but nothing populates in my searches so I cant really call or do anything to dispute it at this point.

      So yes, I think I will probably leave it off and wait for an audit to dispute/file a appeal. I was hoping for a better way though. I am just stunned that the government would allow creditors/big business to just really throw it on a person years down the road when all the true evidence is long gone.

      • http://www.Credit.com Gerri

        Mr. D –

        I agree that there needs to be accountability on the part of creditors here. It’s no worse than a zombie debt collector trying to collect a debt that’s too old, in the wrong amount and can’t be documented. I encourage you to file a complaint with your legislators in Washington (the IRS is accountable to them after all), the Taxpayer Advocate and copy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Let us know how this turns out for you!

  • Kim

    I received a notice from the IRS in May 2012 saying I owe for tax year 2010 on a 1099-C I never received. I called the bank to inquire on what it was for and was advised a car that was repossessed in April 2003 9 years ago!! Is there a Statute of Limitations on when a collector has to issue a 1099-C? How can they say it is income when no one sent me money? I was a single mom with 3 kids lost my job which is why I lost the car so if I could barely put food on the table and a roof over our heads how can I be expected to pay $2784 for a debt over 9 years ago?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I understand this is a very stressful, But you may not have to pay taxes on that cancelled debt, so don’t panic yet. However, you may have to pay for a tax professional’s help to sort this out.

      I am not a tax professional, so I can’t give you specific advice. But I can share some of the information I’ve learned writing my series on this topic. There is no “statute of limitations” per se that prevents a creditor from sending out a 1099-C after a certain date, but on the flip side, they are supposed to send out a 1099-C the year the debt was cancelled or – if it wasn’t formally cancelled through a settlement, for example – within three years if no substantial collection activity took place during that time. So, provided they weren’t actively trying to collect after April 2003, then it sounds like they should have sent out the 1099-C for the 2006 or 2007 tax year. Because they waited until 2010, it may mean the statute of limitations for the IRS to collect tax on the cancelled debt may apply.

      In addition, if you received the 1099-C when you should have, you may have been able to demonstrate to the IRS that you qualify for the insolvency exclusion. You’ll find the worksheet for that calculation in IRS publication 4681. You may still be able to use that worksheet to show you qualified for an exclusion for the 2010 tax year.

      I’d recommend you read my series of articles on 1099-Cs so you are familiar with this issue. Then I’d suggest you try to find a tax professional with 1099-C experience to help you figure out how to address this. I wish I could tell you how to handle it yourself, but there’s no clear process for doing that and I don’t want to see you get stuck with additional interest or penalties.

  • Phil

    What about for a 1099-C for an invalid debt? I have a collector threatening to send a 1099-C for a debt with a bank I never had an account with. I don’t know if they will send one or not (have not yet). But if they do, I want to know if there is an easy way to me to “cancel” the 1099-C through the IRS, or if I have to sue the collector.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      That’s a valid question, Phil. The short answer is there is no “simple” way to dispute a 1099-C. There is no place on Form 982, for example, where you can tell the IRS to exclude that debt from your income because you don’t believe you owe the debt. So, as I pointed out in the story, you have to include it on your tax return, back it out, and include an explanation.

      I would report this threat to the FTC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may also want to consumer talking with a consumer law attorney. Their threat may be an illegal debt collection tactic.

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Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team