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Credit score companies
Phone Numbers & Addresses for Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
The three major consumer credit bureaus in the United States are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. There are several reasons why you might need to contact one of these companies. However, they don’t make it easy to get in touch with someone over the telephone. That’s the main reason we’ve compiled this list of telephone numbers – to help you get in touch with a human customer service representative.
Below you’ll find important contact information for each credit reporting agency, including key customer support phone numbers, mailing address and website addresses. We’ve also summarized the primary services you might need to call about to help you better understand your rights when speaking to the credit bureaus.
Here are all 3 Credit Bureau Phone Numbers for General Inquiries:
- Equifax – 1-866-349-5191
- TransUnion – 1-800-916-8800
- Experian – 1-800-509-8495
Need to Improve Your Credit?
Call (866) 479-0160 for a free credit repair consultation with The Credit People.
Additional Contact Info
Equifax Mailing Address
Equifax Credit Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374
Equifax Phone Numbers:
800-509-8495: General Credit Inquiries
866-349-5186: Dispute Credit Report Items
800-685-1111: Request Free Credit Report
888-766-0008: Place Fraud Alert on Profile
866-493-9788: Existing Customer Support
888-202-4025: Business Solutions
404-885-8078: Fax Number
Experian Mailing Address
Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013
Experian Phone Numbers:
800-509-8495: Dispute Credit Report Items
888-397-3742: Report Requests & Fraud Help
877-284-7942: Existing Customer Support
888-243-6951: Business Credit Services
972-390-4908: Fax Line
TransUnion Mailing Address
TransUnion Consumer Relations
P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000
TransUnion Phone Numbers:
800-916-8800: Disputes Items & Status Checks
877-322-8228: Free Annual Credit Report
800-888-4213: Purchase Credit Report
888-909-8872: Place a Security Freeze
800-493-2392: Credit Monitoring Customer Support
866-922-2100: Business Services Assistance
610-546-4771: Fax Machine
How to Talk to a Human at the Credit Bureaus:
To speak with a real human operator at each of the three major credit bureaus for help with general credit questions, you can call the following phone numbers along with their respective phone prompts.
- Equifax– 1-866-349-5191 – (Say ‘Agent’ or Press ‘5’)
- TransUnion– 1-800-916-8800 – (Press ‘0’)
- Experian– 1-800-509-8495 – (Enter ‘SSN’ >> Say ‘Credit’ or press ‘2’ >> Say ‘Credit Report’ or Press ‘1’ >> Say ‘Credit Questions’ or Press ‘1’)
Following each of those prompts, your call will be transferred then you’ll have to wait on hold until a customer service representative is available.
Helpful Information, Resources, and Your Rights
It’s helpful to understand your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act when you call the credit bureaus to discuss your concerns. Below you will find a summary of the common reason people call along with links to articles and other resources that help you gain the knowledge you need to resolve your issues as quickly and conveniently as possible. One important note – the credit bureaus are obligated by law to assist you with many of these services for free, but your credit score is not something they are required to provide you at no cost.
Having access to your credit report is an important part of being financially fit. Your credit report provides detailed information about your financial track record, including current and past credit accounts, such as credit cards, loans, mortgages, and other debts. Credit entries in your credit report also contain information about your balances, both past and present, your payment history, creditor inquiries into your credit, and any negative marks, like bankruptcy, foreclosure, collections accounts, or court judgment against you. Knowing what’s included in your credit report helps you better understand how to improve your credit if needed, and it allows you to spot fraudulent or inaccurate activity related to your financial accounts.
Each of the three credit bureaus is required to provide you with a copy of your credit report at no cost. You have this right once every 12 months through Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The credit bureaus have made the process relatively simple, creating an online platform to obtain your annual credit report for free. You can visit AnnualCreditReport.com to retrieve your credit report for one or all of the credit bureaus when you are ready. If you don’t want to go through the process of requesting your credit reports online, you also have the option to call 1-877-322-8228 to request it over the phone. The caveat being you don’t get continuous access to your credit report and won’t receive your credit score through AnnualCreditReport.com. It is a one-time credit report only service that could be out of date by the time your receive it, if you receive your report by mail.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that acts as a gauge of how financially responsible you have been in the past, letting creditors know quickly if you are a good candidate for a new credit account. Having a high credit score means you are likely a low risk borrower, while having a low credit score means you raise some red flags with potential new creditors. Keeping your credit score in good shape is also a necessary part of financial stability, but it can be challenging to know how to accomplish that task.
It helps to start with an understanding of how credit scores are calculated. Your credit score is based on the information found in your credit report, with the following categories contributing to your score calculation:
- Payment history – 35% of your score calculation
- Balances owed versus available credit – 30%
- Length of credit history – 15%
- New credit – 10%
- Types of credit accounts used – 10%
Currently, the most common types of credit scores used in evaluating your credit risk include VantageScore and FICO Score. VantageScore is used by many different free credit score providers, such as some banks, credit unions, and credit card issuers, but it is gaining popularity among lenders as well. Your VantageScore credit score may be different from the more widely used FICO score, but the factors that determine the calculation are very similar.
Your FICO credit score is derived from the same information found in your credit reports, but the company behind this scoring method is the Fair Isaac Corporation. This credit score is the one used by the majority of lenders to evaluate your level of risk as a borrower or new account holder. There are also credit scores for businesses, most commonly accessed through Nav.
The credit bureaus are not obligated to provide you access with your credit scores – only your credit reports. However, you can view your credit scores from each of the three bureaus by requesting it directly through Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. You may also have access to a free credit score (typically VantageScore) through your credit card company or bank. Other services also offer access to your credit score for free after you sign up for an account online.
The credit bureaus also must provide certain tools for you to better manage your identity and credit profiles over time, although these tools do not have to be offered at no cost. A credit lock is one method to help safeguard your credit report and ultimately, your credit score. Through a credit lock, you can quickly lock down your credit information with a specific credit bureau, either through a simple online website or mobile app request or swipe. Taking this simple step means that creditors cannot access your credit information with that credit bureau, which helps stop new accounts from being established. If you need to unlock your credit, you can do that with a quick swipe or online click too.
Credit locks are offered by the three major credit bureaus. Equifax and TransUnion offer the credit lock option at no cost; however, they both have built this feature into a bundle of products which range in price and include other services like creditor monitoring and access to your credit score. Experian is the only credit bureau that charges for a credit lock. The cost of $4.99 for the first month, and then $24.99 each month after that. If you want to fully lock your credit you will have to lock it with each credit bureau individually.
A credit freeze is another option you can use to protect your credit report. Like a credit lock, it shuts down access to your credit information so that new potential creditors cannot check your report or open new accounts. However, a credit freeze is governed by federal law, giving you more protection than a credit lock. If an account is established in your name or another identity theft activity takes place, you have certain rights under the law not provided by a credit lock. Also, all credit bureaus are required to offer a credit freeze at no cost to consumers.
The process of establishing a credit freeze is done through each of the credit bureaus independently, either by mail, over the phone, or online. When creating a credit freeze, you will be required to establish a secure account, either with a password, a personal identification number, or both. The security credit freeze is in place until you “thaw” it, which is done by contacting the credit bureaus and providing your password and/or PIN. Thawing a credit freeze can be more cumbersome than a credit lock, but again, the process offers more protection to you as the consumer.
Another way the credit bureaus offer protection to you is through a fraud alert. Typically, a fraud alert is something you place on your credit reports with each of the credit bureaus if you have been the victim of identity theft. If your wallet, your credit card, or other personal and financial information is compromised, a fraud alert makes it more difficult for another person to establish a new account in your name.
Placing a fraud alert on your credit report is done by contacting one of the three credit bureaus. It is free, and the bureau you contact must inform the other two about the alert. Businesses are required to then take extra steps to verify your identity when you want to open a new account. A fraud alert stays on your account for one year, making it less of a protection than a credit lock or a credit freeze.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three credit bureaus are required to provide an avenue for correcting inaccurate information found in your credit report. There are cases when lenders and other creditors get information wrong, alongside instances of the credit bureaus making a mistake. When this happens, the only way for you to know is checking your credit reports. Once an error is found, you have remedies for getting it corrected directly through each credit bureau.
Disputing a credit report entry can be frustrating, but it is necessary to keep your credit in good standing. Your first step is to report the incorrect information to each credit bureau, in writing, along with documentation of why the information is wrong. You can submit credit report disputes online with each of the three credit bureaus, and they have 30 days to investigate. If they find that the data you provided is accurate, the entry is corrected or removed. The results of your dispute must be provided in writing once complete.
Each year, millions of Americans experience a compromise of their personal and financial data, and in some cases, this compromise leads to identity theft. When you are the victim of identity theft, it is necessary to take certain steps to protect your credit information from being further damaged. You will need to contact the three credit bureaus to report your identity theft, and follow the steps mentioned above to place a credit freeze, a credit lock, or a fraud alert on your reports.
To help prevent identity theft, you can utilize identity theft protection services. These types of services, such as those provided by Identity Guard, provide constant review of your credit reports and other sensitive data to determine if and when your identity is at risk. You receive real-time alerts when there may be an issue with your personal information, and you can then take the appropriate steps to stop it or reduce the damage that may come from it. Get 20% off identity theft protection.
Having access to your credit report along with options for protecting your identity are key components of your financial life. However, there are situations where your credit takes a hit. Missed payments, bankruptcy, court judgments and liens, or overspending through credit cards and loans can create a negative credit profile in a hurry. If you’re struggling to manage your credit and get it back on the right path, the credit bureaus won’t do much for you above and beyond correcting legitimate errors. When you need extra help, credit repair may be a viable solution.
Credit repair companies like The Credit People offer services to help you improve your credit over time. Instead of having to deal with the credit bureaus alone as it relates to negative entries, credit repair companies take on the work for you. In exchange for a monthly fee, a credit repair company will fight on your behalf to get negative items removed, helping improve your credit. It is important to review the legitimacy of a credit repair company before signing up. Credit repair on your own or with the help of a professional takes time. If you need to repair your credit report and score, you can reach out to The Credit People for advice at (866) 479-0160.
Credit bureaus also offer credit monitoring, although this may come at a cost to you. Credit monitoring provides timely alerts that provide information about changes to your credit reports. Depending on the service you sign up for, credit monitoring offers notifications via a phone call, a text message, or an e-mail when changes take place. Having access to these alerts allows you to get ahead of any issues that may ultimately damage your credit report, such as fraudulent activity. Most credit monitoring services provide alerts for the following activities:
- Hard inquiries for new creditors checking your credit report
- New accounts established in your name
- Existing account changes, such as paying off a card or increasing credit limit use
- Address changes
Each of the three credit bureaus offers credit monitoring as an ongoing service for a monthly fee. TransUnion offers credit monitoring along with a free credit score for a $1 seven-day trial, after which time it costs $19.95 per month. Equifax also offers credit monitoring, which includes a credit lock feature, for $16.95 per month. Experian’s credit monitoring service is the most expensive, at $4.99 for the first month and $24.99 after that. The credit monitoring through Experian also provides access to your FICO credit score and a credit lock feature. However, we recommend Identity Guard’s TOTAL plan as it monitors all 3 credit bureaus and actually costs less than each of the others ($15.99/mo) when you sign-up using our discounted partner link.
Getting in touch with a live human at any of the three credit bureaus can be a challenge but knowing which number to call along with the prompts can save you both time and frustration. Understanding what the credit bureaus offer, along with your rights as a consumer, is also helpful in knowing who to contact and through what channel when you need to get things done.
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