Consumer reporting agencies monitor the financial activities of individual consumers to determine how creditworthy an individual is. This information is then sold to companies like banks who need to make informed decisions about who to lend money to. Therefore, it is important for individuals to know how to access this information and how to dispute it if errors are found.
Contacting Consumer Reporting Agency
Determine which agency needs to be contacted. The three main consumer reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Individuals may wish to contact these agencies to get a credit report, credit score or to dispute information on a credit report.
Equifax is one of the three most common bureaus. To contact them via regular mail, send the inquiry to Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc., P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374.To order a credit report or score from Equifax, go to http://www.equifax.com/ or call 1-800-685-1111. To dispute information on the score or report, go online to http://www.equifax.com/answers/correct-credit-report-errors/en_cp. If you need to report fraud or identity theft, dial 1-888-766-0008 or go to www.fraudalerts.equifax.com.
Experian is another major consumer reporting agency. Experian's physical address is P.O. Box 949, Allen, TX 75013. To order a credit report or score from Experian, go to http://www.experian.com/ or call 1-888-397-3742. To dispute information on the score or report, call the phone number listed on the report. If you need to report fraud or identity theft, call 1-888-397-3742. If you are a member and have questions, call 1-800-787-6864.
TransUnion is the third of the three major reporting agencies. TransUnion's physical address is TransUnion, 2 Baldwin Place, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022. To request a credit report or order a credit score, call 1-800-888-4213 or go to http://annualcreditreport.transunion.com/tu/disclosure/order.jsp?package=TransUnionPaidDisclosureVS. If an individual needs to dispute information on a credit report or credit score, the individual can call 1-800-916-8800. To report identity theft, call 1-888-909-8872.
All individuals are entitled to a free credit report (not score) once every twelve months from each bureau.
Check the credit report before applying for loans because if there are errors in the report. Those errors could cause you to have a lower credit score which could lead banks to charge higher interest rates or even deny a loan.
Things You'll Need
Computer with internet