As a consumer, this helps to ensure fair credit pricing while also protecting you against identity theft.
Reviewing your free reports also lets you know where you stand credit-wise and allows you to check for any potential problems you might not be aware of. Mistakes happen and the sooner you can catch them, the better off your credit will be.
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Where To Go For Your Free Annual Credit Report
If you’re looking for your free annual report from each of the big 3 — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — you can get copies of your free reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
The website is operated by the three credit bureaus and is authorized by federal law. You can access each of your reports once every 12 months for free. So if you order your TransUnion credit report on September 30, you can’t get another free copy until October 1 of the following year.
After that, you can pay to receive more frequent copies, which usually cost around $15 each, or you can typically order all three together for a discounted price. You might find this helpful if you’ve requested changes to your credit reports or filed a dispute and want to confirm that the information has been updated.
Need Credit Repair Help?
It’s also smart to pay for your credit report if you need a faster dispute process. Normally, credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate a dispute. But if you get your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com, they have 45 days to respond.
When ordering your credit reports you can take one of two approaches. First, you can order all three at once to compare the information listed in each one.
This might be a good idea if you’ve never accessed your credit reports before and want to make sure they’re correct and complete. It’s also a good tactic if you’re about to apply for a major loan or mortgage because again, you want the information to be the most accurate reflection of your creditworthiness.
Your other option is to stagger when you order each report. This could be helpful while you track your progress of repairing your credit. The 12-month wait period applies to each individual credit bureau’s report, so you could order one every four months to make sure everything looks correct.
This ongoing monitoring also helps prevent identity theft because it may be the only way to notice if an account has been opened in your name by somebody else.
Credit Bureau Contact Information
Sometimes you need to contact the individual credit reporting agencies concerning specific issues. This may involve various kinds of misreported information or negative items you want to clear up.
Additionally, you can contact each credit bureau to place a security freeze on your credit report. This stops anyone from accessing your credit reports for a new inquiry, which can cause fraudulent applications to be denied instantaneously. This service is now free from the credit bureaus.
No matter what your concern may be, it can be hard to get a real person on the phone. But if you’re persistent, you can always find a way. If the main numbers you find online won’t allow you to connect with someone, look up the company’s local corporate headquarters and call them directly. Ask to speak with a customer service agent to quickly get someone on the line.
The following information for contacting Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion is accurate as of the publishing of this article. However, this information may be updated as these mailing addresses are known to change often.
When it comes to mailing addresses, corporate headquarters aren’t the right addresses to write to concerning questions about individual accounts. Before sending them a letter, you may want to verify the information to make sure you’re addressing your letter to the correct department.
You can always refer to each company’s website to get up-to-date contact information or to find online forms. It’s useful to note that the credit reporting companies prefer you contact them by phone first.
When you speak with an agent, they’ll give you the best address to use for your particular issue. You may also wish to read each company’s website to find specific numbers other than the general numbers provided below. Either way, this is a great starting point to get connected to the right place.
Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
(888) 298-0045 (for customer care)
(800) 349-9960 (for security freezes)
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
(888) 397-3742 (for disputes)
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Other Credit Reporting Agencies
While Innovis is not one of the big three credit bureaus, consumers have increasingly found it important to keep tabs on Innovis credit report, especially given their relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
This company primarily serves to sell lists to creditors (including mortgage lenders) of creditworthy and non-creditworthy individuals.
You can access reports and request changes just as you would with any of the major three credit bureaus. However, you’ll have to call the national opt-out number (1-888-567-8688) to have your name and number removed from their lists.
For free reports, contact:
Attn: Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 1640
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-1640
For Innovis corporate headquarters, contact:
250 E. Town St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
PRBC Inc. (Payment Reporting Builds Credit)
A fifth credit reporting agency is PRBC Inc., which performs the same functions as the other CRCs. However, it also allows consumers to build reports and a positive credit history using alternative data, such as utility bills and insurance payments.
PRBC Inc. uses information not always reported to the other bureaus, allowing consumers to rebuild a positive credit history. The company is owned by MicroBilt Corporation.
1640 Airport Rd, Suite 115
Kennesaw, GA 30144