Your Credit Privacy Number is a nine-digit number used to report information to the credit bureaus. These numbers evolved as alternatives to using a Social Security number. Today, any U.S. citizen can receive a CPN instead for use with their credit profile. Once you have a CPN, you can use this number to check your credit history. If you do not see your payment history listed under this number, you can ask your creditors to begin filing the information accurately.
Use your CPN or Social Security number to access your credit report. You can go straight to one of the three credit bureaus for this service or use a third-party provider to check your report. AnnualCreditReport.com is a resource supported by the three bureaus that permits one free credit check each year into your own account.
Verify your credit information. Your lenders should automatically report information such as payment history and auto loans to your credit report. This information would be carried over on your credit report once you receive a CPN instead of using your Social Security number.
Take note of missing or incorrect information. Review your credit report closely and make sure your information is up to date. If your payment history is missing on any account, make a note to yourself.
Contact lenders who have not filed your credit information. Call the lenders who have not reported your credit correctly. Supply your account information with these lenders, and ask for a correction of the problem. Be sure to additionally submit the request in writing, documenting the conversation, in case the lender fails to follow through.
Check your report again in one month. Allow this 30-day period for your lenders to report the information. You cannot report information yourself at any point, so you must rely on your lenders to accomplish this.
Follow up with any tardy lender. If you do not see the information updated, place another phone call and send a second letter. This may continue for some time, but it is the only way you can assure the information is correctly entered.
Dispute any incorrect information. If you notice a lender incorrectly inputs information, file a dispute immediately with each credit bureau. Contact the lender to notify them the dispute has been filed, and ask for an immediate correction. See the Federal Trade Commission website for a sample credit dispute letter.
The credit report you receive using either your CPN or your Social Security number is the same report. The main reason for the use of CPNs instead of standard credit checks with a Social Security number is privacy. You will be able to give lenders your CPN instead of your SSN to maintain better privacy, but the information they receive will be the same.