PSE&G Announces Full Credit Reporting of Monthly Bill Payments
Reporting payments helps all customers build and improve credit Delinquent customers have until January 2011 to become current
NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is notifying electric and gas customers that it will begin to report credit information to a leading consumer credit agency beginning in early 2011. PSE&G will notify Experian when customers make timely payments as well as when their accounts are delinquent.
Beginning this month, the state's largest utility is notifying its customers who currently have delinquent account balances that credit reporting may begin as early as January 2011. These customers will be advised of the new reporting policy through letters and phone calls. All customers – including those who pay on time -- will be notified through messages on their bills and bill inserts before the policy takes effect.
"The majority of our customers pay their bills by the due date," said Joseph Forline, PSE&G vice president of customer operations. "Reporting customers' timely payments will enhance their credit history and overall score.
"About 12 percent of our customers, however, do not pay their utility bills on time -- even though they have already enjoyed the benefits of their electric and gas service," Forline said. "People who pay their bills late -- or not at all -- increase costs for everyone. Reporting these accounts on a monthly basis will encourage customers to pay for our services on time, just as they do with other bills."
Forline noted that the start of full credit reporting is common practice with many other major consumer-oriented companies, including utilities, throughout the country.
Studies by credit advocacy groups show that customers with little or no credit history often benefit from full credit reporting. The Political and Economic Research Council found that consumers who have only a few transactions on file with credit reporting agencies have the opportunity to build and improve their credit scores when on-time utility payments are reported. These consumers then benefit when applying for loans and other types of credit. Identity theft can also be exposed earlier through a credit report.
The utility noted that a customer's prior credit history will not be provided to Experian once the reporting begins. PSE&G will begin to report the credit information from that point forward.
PSE&G customers who have difficulty paying their utility bills may qualify for various payment assistance programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Universal Service Fund, NJ Shares and NJ Lifeline. Information about these programs is available at www.pseg.com/help or www.pseg.com/ayuda.
Customers who have questions about the new reporting policy should call 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G)