Your credit report is vital to your purchasing power and dictates how much you can borrow and how expensive your loan will be. It can also affect where you can live and if you are hired for a job. It is a vital diagnostic tool for your finances. Spotting errors and fraud and correcting them can help increase your scores and stave off significant headaches in the future.
Know which creditors appear on your report. For instance, perhaps you see CBNA but don’t recognize that lender and are worried it’s a mistake.
What to Do If You See CBNA on Your Credit Report
CBNA stands for Citibank North America. It appears on your credit report when applying for or becoming an authorized user on a new credit card account.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a Citi credit card?
- Have you applied for a Citi card?
- Could your identity have been stolen?
- Have I opened a retailer account recently that might be working with Citibank?
These are the most likely reasons CBNA would appear on your credit report, but if none of these applies to you, there are still several other reasons.
What Does CBNA Stand For?
CBNA is an acronym for several credit accounts that could appear on your credit report.
It Could Mean Citibank
CBNA is a credit report code for Citibank North America, the fourth-largest credit card issuer in the United States. Citi cards are also issued by the bank’s affiliate partners. For instance, when you see on your credit report BBY/CBNA, it stands for Best Buy/Citibank North America. In this case, Citi partners with Best Buy to issue a store credit card.
Citibank North America has an extensive line of Citi-branded credit cards. Double Cash, Simplicity, and Premier are some of the most well-known. If you have used or applied for one of these cards, it will appear on your credit report. If you have not, you will want to contact Citibank immediately. You can reach them by phone at (800) 950-5114.
Citi also offers other types of loans, including auto loans and personal, which also could be listed as CBNA.
It Could Be a Third-Party Debt Collector
Credit Bureau of North America is a third-party debt collector that can appear on your credit report as CBNA. If you see this on your credit report, it means a creditor has sent a past-due account into collections. This will also cause your credit score to decrease.
CBNA Could Mean Another Financial Institution
Community Bank, Comenity Bank, and Comenity Capital Bank are all subsidiaries of Bread Financial Holdings. If you have an account with one of these financial services, this could cause CBNA to appear on your report.
Pro tip: Community Bank N.A. is for people who live in Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts. If it is noted on your credit report and you don’t live in one of these areas, please get in touch with the bank directly at cbna.com. It’s possible you may be a victim of identity theft.
READ MORE: Why did my credit score drop?
THD/CBNA Could Mean It is a Home Depot-Branded Card
Home Depot and several other prominent retailers partner with Citi as the lender for their store-branded credit cards. Some of the partners include Wayfair, Overstock, Sears, Macy’s, Tractor Supply Co. and Costco.
If you have a store-branded card from a Citibank retail partner, it will likely be prefixed by a code for the associated retailer. For example, BBY stands for Best Buy, and THD refers to the Home Depot credit card.
READ MORE: How to get a free credit score
Have You Been a Victim of Identity Theft?
If items on your credit report are not accounts you have created or are responsible for, you may be a victim of identity theft. You can use a credit monitoring service to track what is on your credit report and receive fraud alerts when questionable items are added to your information. You have the right to dispute any fraudulent accounts or close the accounts you believe have been tampered with. Ask for copies of your credit reports and place a security lock on your credit report. Several companies do a credit lock, helping protect you against identity theft and unwanted credit activity. You are notified in real-time if any of these activities happen.
Pro tip: When you lock your credit report, banks and lenders can’t access your credit for a loan application. Utility companies, landlords, mobile phone services, potential employers and insurance companies cannot access your report. Companies with existing relationships with you, collection agencies, government agencies, and companies with pre-screened credit card offers cannot access your file. If your account is locked and you want to apply for a new credit card, or would like a prospective landlord or new utility company to have access to your credit report, you will need to contact one of the credit bureaus to unlock it.
If someone has gotten access to your Social Security number or you have unauthorized inquiries on your report, you can file a police report and contact the credit bureaus.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines for victims of identity theft via collection agencies, credit card companies, or unauthorized inquiries on their credit reports.
The CBNA May Simply Note a Hard or Soft Inquiry
Even if none of the above apply to you, you may still see CBNA on your credit reports. That’s because your credit report includes a list of any creditors that have accessed your credit file to assess your creditworthiness.
There are two types of inquiries. One is a “soft” inquiry or “soft credit pull,” which happens when you or someone you have authorized checks your credit report to preapprove you for an offer. The other is a “hard” inquiry or “hard credit pull,” which happens when you apply for a new line of credit.
Soft inquiries don’t affect your credit scores, while hard credit inquiries will have a small, short-term effect, usually lowering your FICO score by up to five points and your VantageScore by as much as 10 points.
Pro tip: Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years, regardless of whether or not you’re approved for the card, so it’s possible you may have applied for new credit from one of the CBNA institutions at some point and perhaps just don’t remember.
Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report and Review It
Americans are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once every 12 months. They can be accessed at annualcreditreport.com. Though it won’t include your credit score, there are many free ways to learn it. It’s important to regularly review your credit reports to ensure there are no errors or unfamiliar accounts.
Pro tip: Avoid services that charge you for a copy of your credit report or your current credit score. Many services try to take advantage of people who don’t realize that both are widely available for free.
READ MORE: How to get a free credit report
Can I Remove CBNA from my Credit Report?
If the CBNA notation on your credit report is accurate, you will not likely get it removed.
If you applied for a Citi card or loan or agreed to be an authorized user on someone else’s account, then the entry on your report is legitimate.
If you didn’t, you should be concerned. Unauthorized inquiries could simply be a reporting error, or it could mean someone has stolen your identity.
If you believe the item on your credit report by error or fraud has occurred, take the following steps:
- Dispute it
- Monitor your credit reports
- Hire a credit repair company
You can also contact the creditor listed on your report to request that they provide proof that you approved this inquiry. If you have been a victim of identity theft, report and document it with the correct agencies.
Here’s how to contact them:
- Equifax: Phone number: 1-800-685-1111; Equifax.com
- Experian: Phone number: 1-888-397-3742; Experian.com
- TransUnion: Phone number: 1-888-909-8872; TransUnion.com
The Bottom Line
Understanding your credit is as essential as knowing what’s in your credit report. Understanding who your creditors are can make a massive difference in spotting fraudulent activity, detecting disputes, errors, and mistakes, plus saving you money by increasing your score. It’s also free.
Citibank is an extension of Citigroup. Citigroup owns Citicorp, the holding company of Citibank, and other international subsidiaries. Citibank North America falls under this group.
Your credit report payment histories, credit balances, or any movement in your credit history that gets reported to the big three credit reporting companies: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. These reports determine your eligibility and worthiness as a borrower and dictate the loan rates, amounts, and terms. Pull a free credit report from all three credit bureaus. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports from all three major consumer credit bureaus periodically through annualcreditreport.com. Regularly checking your credit report for fraud, mistakes, and other suspicious activity is prudent.
Yes, they are the authorized lender of a third-party retailer such as The Home Depot or Best Buy. It means you tried to open an account with this retailer or have been added as an authorized user to the retailer’s credit card. Citibank has about 83 million users on its retail credit cards, and other popular retail outlets they work with are L.L. Bean, Exxon Mobil, and Shell. Being added as an authorized user of someone else’s credit card can be a beneficial tactic to increase your credit scores or establish a credit history if you have none. Conversely, it can hurt both of you when the account’s primary user has derogatory remarks on their credit report. As an authorized user, you’re not legally responsible for making the payments to the card. It is the primary account holder’s responsibility.