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SYNCB/JCP: What Is It And How To Remove From My Credit Report?

Written by Mike Pearson
Updated August 10, 2022

In A Nutshell

SYNCB/JCP stands for Synchrony Bank/JCPenney. JCPenney, a clothing retailer, partnered with Synchrony Bank in order to create a store card in 1999. Therefore, if you see SYNCB/JCP appear on your credit report, you have most likely applied for a JCPenney store card or are the owner of one.

Alternative Reasons Why SYNCB/JCP May Appear On Your Credit Report

Any items that are related to a JCPenney credit account will show on your credit report as GECRB/JCP or GEMB/JCP. These stand for “General Electric Capital Retail Bank” and “General Electric Money Bank”. The Synchrony Bank operated using these names before becoming its own entity and splitting from General Electric.

Other Affiliates of Synchrony Bank 

Synchrony Bank is one of the largest providers of credit cards in the United States. Therefore, if you see SYNCB appear on a credit report, you most likely have a credit account with one of the many businesses that are associated with this bank. 

Is It A Scam?

No, seeing SYNCB/JCP on your credit report isn’t indicative of a scam. This is because both JCPenney and Synchrony Bank are legally approved organizations. If they happen to appear on a credit report, it usually indicates that you have an open account with them, or they have run a credit check on you. If you are uncertain whether this activity is legitimate or not, it’s possible that you may have been a victim of identity fraud. 

Why Is SYNCB/JCP Appearing On My Credit Report?

SYNCB/JCP can appear on a credit report for numerous reasons. Some of these reasons are cause for concern, whilst most are not. It is possible for this to show on your credit report, even if you do not have a credit account with JCPenney. The following is a list of reasons why SYNCB/JCP may appear on a credit report:

1) Synchrony Bank Checked Your Credit

You will see this appear on a credit report if Synchrony Bank has conducted a credit check in order to determine whether you are eligible for a line of credit. This specific kind of check can either appear as a soft inquiry or a hard inquiry.

Soft inquiries will show up on a credit report whenever someone has checked your credit without you making a request for new credit. For instance, if you have received an offer letter for a credit card that is issued by this bank, then they may have run a soft inquiry on your credit during the evaluation process. 

In contrast, hard inquiries will appear on your credit report whenever you have applied for a new line of credit, such as store cards, credit cards, or a loan. For example, if you applied for a JCPenney credit. Hard inquiries typically lower your overall credit score by numerous points, however, this won’t last for a long period of time. These hard inquiries usually fall off from your report after a period of two years. 

You should also note that hard inquiries aren’t able to be removed from your credit report unless they have been added by mistake. 

2) You Own A JCPenney Credit Card

SYNCB/JCP is stated on a credit report when you have or have previously owned a JCPenney credit account. Regardless of whether you have closed the account or not, SYNCB/JCP may stay on your report for a period of 7-10 years. 

Your account may also have been closed without your knowledge, this usually happens when a credit account becomes inactive. It is a common process for lenders to close a credit account if they become inactive. 

3) You Are An Authorized User On A Loved One’s JCPenney Credit Account

SYNCB/JCP can also appear on a credit report if you have been authorized on another person’s JCPenney credit account. You could have been named on this account by a loved one who has designated you as an authorized user on the account. This also means that their credit-based activities could potentially negatively impact your credit score. 

However, if the primary account holder is reliable, then being an authorized user can actually benefit your credit score by ensuring that you are able to build a positive history of credit payments. Similarly, your use of credit on the same account will impact their credit report, and thus, it is important to act responsibly when designated as an authorized user. 

4) You May Be A Victim of Identity Fraud

If you are not designated as an authorized user on another person’s credit account, and you have never applied for a JCPenney credit account, then this could indicate that you have been a victim of identity fraud. If you have reason to believe that the SYNCB/JCP mark on a credit report is due to fraudulent credit accounts being opened in your name, then you should take the following steps:

i) Contact the company that made the hard inquiry directly and inform them that this inquiry was not authorized. You should ask them for specific details about the inquiry, and ascertain the date that this was made. 

ii) Next, you need to report the identity theft to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). You can do this by visiting www.identitytheft.gov and answering questions that will generate a recovery plan after you have completed a theft report. 

iii) Finally, contact one of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) in order to place a fraud alert on your report. You will only need to contact one company in order to do this, as they will inform the others on your behalf. 

You may also need to freeze your credit and place a credit lock onto your account. You should continue to monitor your reports to look for any signs of further identity theft. 

How Does JCP/SYNCB Impact On My Credit Score?

There are numerous ways that SYNCB/JCP can impact your credit score. These depend on whether an inquiry has been triggered into your accounts. As previously mentioned, a lone hard inquiry will not have too much impact on your credit score, however, it will usually lower it for a short period of time by up to five points. 

Accumulating numerous hard inquiries can damage your score drastically. Thus, a single hard inquiry is not usually a cause for concern. The average credit score ranges from 300-850, which means that the subtraction of 5 points is not usually a big deal. 

What Are Open and Closed Accounts? 

If you have previously opened or closed a SYNCB/JCP account, then this will contribute to your credit score by impacting your length of credit history, payment history, and credit mix. If the account is opened, then it will also impact your credit utilization rate, which is otherwise known as your debt-to-credit ratio.

In order to learn how a SYNCB/JCP mark impacts your credit score, you should research the contributing factors that impact your FICO score and VantageScore. 

How Do I Remove SYNCB/JCP From My Credit Report?

If you want to remove SYNCB/JCP from a credit report, then you should try one of the following methods of removal:

1) Sending A Letter of Dispute 

If you see that an item has been listed SYNCB/JCP on your credit file, and you suspect that this is inaccurate, then you should write a credit dispute letter and send it to the organization responsible for this. You can send your letter directly to Synchrony Bank if you believe that they are culpable for the mistake. You can also send it to the main credit bureaus if you believe that they are responsible for the error. These errors can occur if your social security number has been confused with another individual. 

It is advisable to send letters of dispute to both organizations. This is because they may contact each other and share information, and thus, it is important that they have received all of the relevant information from you. Once you have filed a credit dispute, then the credit bureau will be obligated to investigate and obtain the correct information on your report. This usually occurs within 30-45 days of receiving your letter of dispute.

2) Use A Credit Repair Company

Credit repair companies act as middlemen between your card issuer and yourself. They may be able to ensure that a hard inquiry is removed from your credit report by helping to gather the relevant evidence that is required to do so.  

You should also be incredibly wary of scams. There are limitations on the cost of credit repair, and thus, companies are not allowed to ask for payment from you prior to helping you. If they do ask for an up-front payment, then you should work with a different company. 

Despite the fact that credit repair companies are useful in saving you time and effort when disputing items on your credit report. You should also consider the fact that they can only do what you can already do for yourself. Thus, they won’t be able to eradicate negative information entirely, nor will they be able to improve your credit rating overnight. Thus, you should carefully consider your options prior to hiring a third-party in order to resolve your dispute and remove a SYNCB/JCP from your report. 

Conclusion

To conclude, a SYNCB/JCP item on your credit report usually occurs because you have taken out a store card or line of credit with JCPenney or a company that is associated with Synchrony Bank. There are numerous companies that are associated with this bank, and thus, you should carefully analyze your credit obligations prior to attempting to remove this from your report. 

If you are convinced that you have no line of credit with these organizations or any associated organization, then you can opt to remove this from your credit report by sending a letter of dispute to the main credit bureaus and to Synchrony Bank. They will then investigate your situation and ascertain accurate information in regard to your credit history. 

It is advised that you do not work with a third-party organization when attempting to rectify this situation, as using a credit repair company that is actually a scam, will only damage your financial situation further. Thus, you should remember that these companies can’t do anything more for you than you already can. However, if you want someone else to handle the negotiations, then this may be an option for you. 

Overall, a SYNCB/JCP item will appear on a credit record whenever a hard inquiry has been conducted into your credit history. It may also appear whenever a soft inquiry has been conducted prior to the offering of credit. These soft inquiries are usually short-term, and will not impact your credit score drastically. Thank you for reading. 

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Mike Pearson


Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.