Have you noticed a new account on your credit report listed as CBNA? It is probably because you have recently applied for a new credit card.
CBNA is an account that indicates a hard inquiry into your credit history.
If you applied for a credit card, you don’t have to worry about a CBNA account on your credit report.
If you didn’t apply for a credit card, you may have something more serious to worry about.
Read on to learn more about what CBNA is and what hard inquiry can mean for your credit score.
What is CBNA?
CBNA stands for Citibank North America, the fourth-largest credit card issuer in the United States.
You probably know them from their popular credit cards as well as co-branded cards for companies such as Best Buy.
As we mentioned before, having CBNA listed on your credit report likely indicates that Citibank has conducted a hard credit inquiry into your account.
However, there are other institutions that use the acronym CBNA on credit reports.
Here are some other establishments that CBNA could stand for:
- Credit Bureau of North America: The Credit Bureau of North America is a collection agency that collects unpaid debts on behalf of third-party companies. If the CBNA account on your credit report stands for Credit Bureau of North America, you probably have an unpaid bill that they are trying to collect. You will likely receive calls and letters from them if this is the case.
- Community Bank NA: Community Bank NA is a small bank that offers personal and business banking services to residents of New York in Pennsylvania. You may have a CBNA entry from Community Bank NA if you have worked with them to apply for a loan or line of credit. This would refer to a hard inquiry into your credit history before you are approved.
- Comenity Bank: Another credit card provider, Comenity Bank helps manage store credit cards for large brands such as Victoria’s Secret. You may have a hard inquiry from them if you recently applied for a store credit card.
How Long Does a CBNA Inquiry Stay on Your Credit Report?
A hard inquiry can negatively impact your credit report, which may make you concerned about how long it will stay there.
Luckily, these types of credit inquiries are meant to have minimal impact on your long-term score.
Typically, you can expect a hard credit inquiry to remain on your credit report for up to two years.
Because these types of inquiries are meant to minimally impact your credit report, you probably won’t be able to remove the hard inquiry from your credit report.
Even though hard credit inquiries such as CBNA do negatively impact your credit score, you shouldn’t see major damage from a single hard inquiry.
Most consumers should have a credit change of around five points, but this will change if you have several hard inquiries in a short period of time or a short credit history.
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What to Do If You Didn’t Authorize a Hard Inquiry
Hard inquiries are innately damaging to your score, but it isn’t something you need to worry about if you actually applied for a credit card.
If you didn’t apply for any line of credit and find CBNA on your credit report, it’s possible that someone has committed fraud using your credit.
Before you panic, it’s entirely possible that human error is the cause for the entry.
You may be seeing this CBNA entry because someone mistyped a social security number or confused your credit profile with someone with a similar name.
You will still need to dispute the entry, but you shouldn’t see any other fraudulent activity on your credit report beyond that.
If the CBNA entry is due to fraudulent activity, this may make your life a little more complicated.
However, there are steps you can take to stop identity theft from having a major impact on your finances.
These are the steps you should take if you suspect that you have a fraudulent inquiry on your credit report.
Contact the Company
The first thing you should do is reach out to Citibank and ask them for documentation that proves that you triggered the inquiry.
Let them know that you believe the account is fraudulent and would like to speak to a fraud specialist to resolve the issue.
Citibank should be able to provide information that shows that the inquiry was warranted.
If they cannot, they must contact the three major credit bureaus to remove the entry from your credit report.
Document and Report the Fraudulent Activity
The next thing you should do if you suspect fraud on your credit report is to document all instances of identity theft and report the fraudulent activity.
The Federal Trade Commission has a website that consumers can use to document and report instances of identity theft.
You should go to their site identitytheft.gov to file a complaint and affidavit form. In some instances, you may find it beneficial to file a police report.
Notify the Major Credit Bureaus
After you notify the Federal Trade Commission, you will also want to notify the major credit bureaus of possible fraud.
You will need to contact each bureau – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – separately.
This is so that you can complete any paperwork specific to each bureau and so that you can place a freeze on your accounts.
This will prevent new fraudulent accounts from moving through.
Additionally, you can request a free 90-day fraud alert from the major credit bureaus.
This will alert you to any new activity on your account that may be the result of identity theft.
Monitor Your Credit Moving Forward
It is important to monitor your credit report moving forward to ensure that you can quickly flag and remove any fraudulent activity.
Credit monitoring is a great habit that can help you prevent extensive false activity and understand where your credit score stands.
You can do this by requesting free copies of your credit report from the major consumer credit bureaus periodically and reviewing activity on your account.
If you’ve noticed an inquiry from CBNA on your credit report, you likely have applied for a credit card recently and have nothing to worry about.
However, you will need to take action immediately if you have not applied for a credit card and suspect fraudulent activity.
Understanding what’s on your credit report can be confusing. However, we are here to help you feel comfortable monitoring your credit and take steps to improve your score.
Check out some of our popular articles to learn how you can boost your credit score.