Credit Report FAQ

Where can I find information on disputing or correcting information in my credit file?
What is a credit score?
How can I get my credit score?
How do I request a credit report by mail for a child under 13 years of age?
How can I exclude my name from nationwide consumer credit reporting company lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers?
What about companies that claim they can improve my credit report for a fee?
How do I contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?
How do I request a fraud alert be placed on my file?
Where can I find out more about identity theft?
How can I learn more about guarding against internet fraud and protecting my personal information?

Where can I find information on disputing or correcting information in my credit file?
Please contact the nationwide credit reporting company that provided the credit report (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion)

Equifax

Experian

Trans Union

P.O. Box 740256

P.O. Box 2002

P.O. Box 2000

Atlanta , GA 30374

Allen, Texas 75013

Chester, PA 19022-2000

1-800-685-1111

1-888-397-3742

1-800-888-4213


  
What is a credit score?
A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file.  A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service.  Most credit scores estimate the risk a company incurs by lending a person money or providing them with a service - - specifically, the likelihood that the person will make payments on time in the next two to three years.  Generally,  the higher the score, the less risk the person represents.


How can I get my credit score?
You can purchase your credit score by contacting one of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.

 

How do I request a credit report by mail for a child under 13 years of age?
The credit reporting agencies do not knowingly maintain credit files on minors.  If you suspect that your minor child's information has been used fraudulently, you should contact the credit reporting agencies directly and report the illegal use of your child's information to law enforcement.  Please supple each credit reporting agency with your child's complete name, address, date of birth and copy of the minor's birth certificate and social security card.  Additionally, please provide a copy of your driver's license or other government issued proof of your identity, which includes your current address, and current utility bill containing your current address so the credit reporting agencies may promptly respond to your request.

 

How can I exclude my name from nationwide consumer credit reporting company lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers?
You may request that consumer credit reporting companies exclude your name from lists for pre-approved, unsolicited credit and insurance offers.  To find out more, please call 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).

 

What about companies that claim they can improve my credit report for a fee?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions consumers to be wary of companies that make claims regarding credit repair.  These companies, commonly called credit clinics, don't do anything for consumers that consumers cannot do for themselves at little or no cost.  Beware of any organization that offers to create a new identity and credit file for you.  The FTC and state attorneys general have filed actions against those who pursue these fraudulent practices.  Here are some warning signs that the FTC and others say consumers should look out for to determine if they might be dealing with a credit clinic:

  • An organization that guarantees to remove late payments, bankruptcies, or similar information from a credit report

  • An organization that charges a lot of money to repair credit

  • A company that asks the consumer to write to the credit reporting company and repeatedly seek verification of the same credit account information in the file, month after month, even though the information has been determined to be correct.

  • An organization that is reluctant to give out their address or one that pushes you to make a decision immediately

How do I contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ?
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center Room 130
600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
www.ftc.gov


How do I request a fraud alert be placed on my file?
You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place "fraud alert" in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft.  A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you.  It may also delay your ability to obtain credit.  You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion).  As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert,  it will notify the other two,  which then also must place fraud alerts in your file. An initial fraud alert stays in your file for at least 90 days.  An extended alert stays in your file for seven years.  To place either of these alerts, a consumer credit reporting company will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security number.  If you ask for an extended alert,  you will have to provide an identity theft report.  An identity theft report includes a copy of a report you have filed with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency. 


Where can I find out more about identity theft?
Please visit the Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Center here.

How can I learn more about guarding against internet fraud and protecting my personal information?
OnGuardOnline.gov provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you guard against phishing and internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.





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Credit Report FAQ
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Bounce Back from Bad Credit
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Identity Theft Resources
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Improving Your Credit Report
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Five Smart Ways to Boost Credit Scores
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2015 Community Resources
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Consumer Protection Information
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