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If you've ever applied for a credit card, charge account, a personal loan, insurance or a job, you had your credit report pulled. This report affects your ability to buy a home. Get your report today
The Three Credit Bureaus and How to Contact Them
If you have ever applied for a credit card, charge account, a personal loan, insurance or a job, potential lenders or employers look up a file about you. The file that they look up is called a credit report. This report has information about where you work, where you live and how you pay your bills. It even tells potential lenders or employers if you've been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy.
Companies called credit bureaus collect the information that make up these reports. Credit bureaus sell this information so that companies can gauge your creditworthiness to ensure it's accuracy you should check your report about once per year. Below are some common questions and answers along with contact information for all three credit bureaus.
Q: What are the names of the credit bureaus?
A: There are three credit bureaus:
Q: What kind of information do credit bureaus collect?
A: Credit bureaus collect the following information:
Current and previous addresses
Amount owed on each loan
Credit card information
Amount of times that you have applied for credit
Q: Am I able to find out if the information the credit bureaus have is correct?
A: Yes you are. You can contact Equifax, Experian or TransUnion at any time and order a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to a free report once a year. If you want to review your report more in-depth, which is always a good idea, additional charges may apply. Furthermore, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you are entitled to a free credit report if you are ever denied credit.
Q: What if I find out that the information that a credit bureau has is wrong?
A: The first thing you have to do is contact the bureau that has the wrong information. What you can do then is dispute the information. The credit bureau will then investigate the dispute for you. They investigate by sending an inquiry to the reporting creditor. The creditor then will verify if the information they gave to the credit bureau was accurate. If it is indeed wrong, they will remove that information from your credit report. If, after the investigation, the creditor says that the information is indeed correct, then it is best to contact the creditor directly to find out why they are reporting this information.
Q: How can I contact the three credit bureaus?
A: Look in the yellow pages under "credit" or "credit rating and reporting." The three major national credit bureaus are:
Experian (formerly TRW)
National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
To a order report: 1-888-397-3742
To report fraud: 1-888-397-3742
Web site: www.experian.com
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
To order report: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
Web site: www.equifax.com
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
To order report: 1-800-888-4213
To report fraud: 1-800-916-8800
Web site: www.transunion.com