The three main credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union -- handle the bulk of American consumer data. Therefore, these companies often are overwhelmed with requests about consumer reports, scores and inaccurate information. Speaking to a live credit report agent can be challenging unless you know how to get through quickly.
Speaking With a Live Agent
Visit the site www.annualcreditreport.com. This is a federally mandated resource for all American consumers; each citizen is allowed one free copy of each credit report per year.
Enter your personal information on the website. This includes your name, address, previous addresses (up to five years back), Social Security number and phone number. Click "Submit."
As an example, choose "Experian" on the next screen. The process is similar for reaching a live agent at each reporting bureau. You need a current copy of your report from that bureau.
Answer the security questions listed on the next page. These questions concern all of your open and closed accounts. You might need to dig through your records to answer them all accurately. You might need to know all or some of the following: when you opened your accounts, what your last payments were, how much available credit you have and when you closed certain accounts.
Review and verify all of your answers. You only get two chances to answer these security questions accurately. Make sure your answers are correct.
Still using Experian as an example, print the copy of your Experian credit report. Highlight the Report Number on the credit report.
Call Experian. The best number to reach an agent is (888) 397-3742. Walk yourself through the automated system. (Prompts are: 2, 6, then 0.) When asked, enter the Report Number you highlighted on the top of your credit report. This will take you to an agent queue.
You can also call Equifax ((800) 685-1111) and Trans Union ((800) 493-2392), and give their Report Numbers to the agents. Experian guarantees that you'll be placed in an agent queue, but a similar process is followed at these two bureaus as well.