You might want to contact one of the credit bureaus for a number of reasons, and they don’t always have to be negative.
You may need to dispute a negative item or request a credit freeze, but you can also ask them for a credit report to check where your score stands at. As the matter of fact, it is very useful to monitor your credit regularly and get your credit score from time to time.
Doing this allows you to improve your credit score it if you think it is not good enough. Also, you can check for any potential problems you would otherwise be unaware of and protect yourself from identity theft more effectively.
Where to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report
You can get one free credit report per year from each of the major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Copies of your free reports are available at AnnualCreditReport.com, which is authorized by federal law and operated by the three bureaus.
You are able to access your reports once in a year for free regardless of the credit bureau you ask for the report from. After you get a free report, you can pay if you want to view your credit more often at the same bureau, which generally costs $15 per report. In case you have requested changes to your credit report or filed a dispute, we definitely recommend you to do it.
Another situation when you should pay to be issued your credit report is if you need a faster dispute process. Credit reporting agencies usually have to investigate a dispute in 30 days. However, if you use AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free report, they have as many as 45 days to do it.
How to Order Your Credit Report
When you decide to order a credit report, you can do it in two different ways.
The first option is to order all three reports at once in order to compare the information that is listed in each of the reports.
Why would you do this? Well, if you have never viewed your reports before and want to see if they are complete and correct, this may be a good thing to do. Also, if you want to apply for a big loan or mortgage and want all the information in the report to be accurate, this is recommended.
The other option you have is to take a report every four months. This is very helpful in case you want to repair your credit and track your progress while doing so.
In addition, when you use this ongoing monitoring, you are also much more likely to prevent identity fraud since this may be your only way to find out if somebody else has opened an account in your name.
Contact Information for the Three Major Credit Bureaus
In case you need to contact a credit reporting agency, it can be difficult to do it on the phone. If the numbers that you find on the web are useless, check the company’s local corporate headquarters and try to contact them directly. You may get someone to talk to you if you ask to speak with a customer service agent quickly.
The contact information of the three major credit reporting agencies that we will list in this article is true as of the date of publishing the article. Still, the mailing addresses tend to change often, so the information may be updated.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t send inquiries concerning individual accounts to corporate headquarters’ mailing addresses. Prior to actually sending your letter, make sure that you are sending it to the correct department.
In addition, you can always go to the company’s website to get the most accurate information or find online forms. However, note that the credit bureaus’ preferred method of contact is by phone.
Once you get someone to talk to you and listen to your questions, they will give you the address that you should send your inquiry to. Also, it would be smart to visit each bureau’s website in order to find the phone numbers and addresses of the specific departments so as not to dial the general number or send an email to their general email address.
This is the contact information of the three major credit reporting agencies:
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
(866) 349-5191 (for disputes)
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Contact for PRBC Inc. (Payment Reporting Builds Credit)
PRBC Inc. is the fourth credit bureau and it does pretty much everything that the three major ones do. However, it also enables consumers to build reports and a positive credit history using timely bill, insurance payments, utility and other alternative data.
This credit reporting agency is owned by MicroBilt Corporation and it uses information which is not always reported to other bureaus.
1640 Airport Rd, Suite 115
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Contact Information for Innovis
Finally, thanks to its relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Innovis is a credit reporting agency that consumers have found to be increasingly important.
The company sells lists to all creditors of both creditworthy and non-creditworthy consumers. With Innovis, you can access reports and request changes like you would with any other credit bureau. If you want to have your name and number removed from their list of borrowers, you will have to call the national opt-out number (1-888-567-8688).
Attn: Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 1689
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-1689
For Innovis corporate headquarters, contact:
250 E. Town St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215