Home > Credit Score > How and When to Talk to a Credit Bureau

Comments 47 Comments

Your credit score can have a huge impact on your life—for better or worse. In many ways, the three major credit bureaus are the keepers of your credit score. They’re responsible for maintaining credit reports, which means you may need to contact them about the information included on yours. While this may seem daunting, it’s really not complicated.

Read on to learn about when to contact a credit bureau and how to do it. Contact information and tips have been provided for each of the three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—to make it as simple as possible.

When to Contact a Credit Bureau

Anytime you notice inaccuracies on your credit report, you should immediately contact the credit bureau. This can include misspelled names, incorrect address information, unreported salary changes or erroneous employment information.

Here are some other reasons why you might need to contact a credit bureau:

  • There are credit cards, collections missed payments or anything else on your report that you don’t recognize.
  • You’re in credit disputes with your credit card issuer or financial institution. You can address this with the credit bureaus, which are required to investigate.

For help talking to the credit bureaus and starting a credit repair plan, you can work with a professional credit repair agency. They offer credit monitoring, credit repair services and text alerts so you don’t miss a thing.

Information to Gather before You Call

You want to have the right information on hand when you call a credit bureau. Prepare yourself by collecting the following information in advance, just in case:

  • Your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth
  • A copy of your annual credit report
  • Evidence of the inaccuracies or errors, if relevant
  • Personal financial information, such as your mortgage information, depending on the reported issue
  • Any other supporting documentation

Credit Bureau Contact Information

Because there are so many potential reasons to contact a credit bureau—general inquiries, disputes and credit freezes, for example—there are many different phone numbers and online contact forms to wade through. If you call the wrong number, you may simply be told they cannot help you and directed to call a different number, wasting precious time and energy.

To help you avoid that frustration, we’ve gathered several ways you can contact the credit bureaus for common inquiries here.

Equifax Phone Numbers

Reason to Contact

Phone Number

Availability

General inquiries

866-640-2273

 

Service cancellation

866-243-8181

8 a.m. to 3 a.m. (ET)
7 days a week

Request a copy of your credit report

866-349-5191

8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
7 days a week

Fraud alert

800-525-6285

8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
7 days a week

Credit dispute

866-349-5191

8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
7 days a week

Credit freeze

888-298-0045

8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
7 days a week

2017 data breach

888-548-7878

8 a.m. to midnight (ET)
7 days a week

Opt out of mailing lists

888-567-8688

 

 

If you don’t like talking on the phone, Equifax also offers live chat support. You can chat with a member of their customer support team between 8 a.m. and midnight (ET), Monday through Friday.


TransUnion Phone Numbers

Reason to Contact

Phone Number

Availability

General inquiries

833-395-6938

8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET)
Monday–Friday

Credit dispute

833-395-6941

8 a.m to 11:00 p.m. (ET)

Monday–Friday

Credit freeze

888-909-8872

8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET)

Fraud alert

800-680-7289

8 a.m.to 11 p.m. (ET)

Free annual report

877-322-8228

 

Haven’t received your report

800-888-4213
800-916-8800 (to speak to a representative)

 

Manage your subscription

833-806-1626

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (ET)

Monday–Friday

 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET)
Saturday–Sunday

Technical support

833-806-1626

8 a.m. to 9 pm. (ET)

Monday–Friday


8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET)
Saturday–Sunday


Experian Phone Numbers

Reason to Contact

 Phone Number

Availability

Experian membership

479-343-6239

6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (PT)
Monday–Friday

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT)
Saturday–Sunday

Free credit report

888-397-3742

 

Credit dispute

866-200-6020

 

Fraud alert

888-397-3742

 

Credit freeze

888-397-3742

 

Cancel membership

479-343-6239

 

ProtectMyID subscription

866-960-6943

 

Opt out of prescreened offers

888-567-8688

 


Alternatives to Calling Credit Bureaus

Not all experts think calling a credit bureau is the best approach. Don Petersen, an attorney at Howard Lewis & Peterson, PC, in Utah, recommends calling a bureau for only basic administrative questions—such as updating an address or asking if a recent data breach has affected you.

For most other issues, Petersen advises his clients to write to credit bureaus or submit disputes online. This provides you with an official record of your request.

If you do prefer to call a credit bureau, take notes during the call and follow up in writing after the telephone conversation. In your follow-up letter, you should include the name of the representative you spoke with as well as details of what transpired in your conversation.

Send important requests—especially disputes—through certified mail. This allows you to track the letter and ensure that the credit bureau responds in a timely manner. Never send original copies of documents, as the bureaus may not return anything you send.

Equifax Mailing Addresses

Reason for Contact

Address

Credit dispute

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

Request a copy of your credit report

Equifax Disclosure Department
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Fraud alert

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

Credit freeze

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788


TransUnion Mailing Addresses

Reason to Contact

Address

Credit freeze

TransUnion
P.O. Box 160
Woodlyn, PA 19094

Credit dispute

TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000

Fraud alert

TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016

Request credit report

TransUnion LLC
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19016


Experian Mailing Addresses

Reason to Contact

Address

Credit dispute

Experian Dispute Department
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Credit freeze

Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Privacy

Chief Privacy Officer
Compliance Department
Experian
475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Report a relative’s death

Experian
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013


Track Your Credit

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to obtain a free copy of all three reports once each year. These free reports can be accessed on the government-mandated site operated by the big three credit bureaus, AnnualCreditReport.com.

You can also sign up for the free credit report card offered by Credit.com, which provides a snapshot of your credit as well as the ability to dig deeper into the elements that affect your credit score. When you sign up, you’ll also get regular emails with tips and tricks for keeping your credit healthy.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • Tricia

    My husband and I are in the process of buying a home. In looking at my credit report provided by my loan officer I have found two derogatory accounts that definitively do not belong to me. After research, and contacting both collection agencies, it’s been discovered that multiple names were merged to my credit report- one name has a social security number only one digit off from mine, and has a completely different birthday. (Info reported by experian has all the issues) While these derogatory accounts (and two inquiries I did not do) have dropped my score below 700, they have not effected our home approval. My loan officer is saying to wait to have the incorrect information removed until after closing due to concerns of any dispute causing problems with the loan. I feel like it’s such an obvious mistake- experian should just be able to remove the accounts. They are not mine. What do you recommend?

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    Your credit could down as a result of all those lost credit limits. You can find more info here:

    https://www.credit.com/credit-scores/does-closing-credit-card-account-affect-credit-score/

  • One21

    I’m currently going through a divorce and I have court orders that say my ex wife is responsible for half the debts we accumulated while we were married. unfortunately the debts are under my name and because she has not made any payments toward the balance on these accounts, my credit is being effected. Is there something i can do to change these debts and have them be under her name and her credit report?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You can try disputing them by supplying your divorce decree. Beyond that, you may want to consult with your divorce attorney about your best recourse.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

      • One21

        thanks, I’m currently speaking with each of the credit bereaus and handling this situation. this can be a very tedious process but it has to be done.
        thanks for your help

  • Kim

    Hello. My credit score is nothing. I have been making my car payments on time for almost 3 yrs now and I have nothing. My finance Co told me when they tried to report my payments they were told there were to many issues with my social and to many last names. I have tried to call the 3 credit agencies and they are all just a recording. How do i contact the credit bureau so I can find out what is going on? Please help.

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You can pull your credit reports from each bureau for free each year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. That’s a good place to start. You can find more information here:

      https://www.credit.com/identity-theft-protection/#steps-to-take-if-its-been-stolen

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

      • Kim

        When I try to get my credit report it says I have no score. I need to know how do i go about talking to someone in person. When I call the numbers I get recordings with no way to talk to someone.

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Credit scores often come with an explanation of the main factors driving your score. To see exactly what’s going into your score, you’d need to see the credit report it is based on. You can get a free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies. Here’s how: https://www.credit.com/credit-reports/free-annual-credit-report/

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Credit scores often come with an explanation of the main factors driving your score. To see exactly what’s going into your score, you’d need to see the credit report it is based on. You can get a free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies. Here’s how: https://www.credit.com/credit-reports/free-annual-credit-report/

  • Adam

    I looked at my credit score at CreditKarma and it was lower than I thought. It showed that my balance was running too high and I was using 80% of my credit limit. I paid the credit card balance to zero and about a month later, they still haven’t updated my score. The payment has gone through, and has been cleared through our bank and the credit card company (Chase). Is there a way to contact the credit bureau to update their info and our score reflects the payment?

  • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

    Hi tank — A creditor can close an account if your credit score has dropped when they do an account review. Also, some retail credit cards will close if there is no activity on the account for a certain period of time. You can always call the retailers and ask them to reconsider closing the accounts, as they will have a negative impact on your credit scores over time.

  • Sean

    Experian has no record of my current auto loan as of today and they did about a month ago. My credit score dropped over. 100 points because of this please help somebody!

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      We suggest talking with the credit bureau to see what happened. The story above has contact information.

  • pascual

    Lately my credit score has been dropping and today it dropped 30 points and am trying to find a solution as to why the only difference I made lately is I got a credit card at Lowe’s to buy things for the house but that’s it nothing else has changed

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Pascual —
      Are you checking your score daily?? (Usually monthly is enough and you really don’t need to obsess about every change.) But if the direction is down, obviously there is cause for concern. A free credit score from Credit.com includes an explanation of the factors that impact your credit score and personalized advice for improving.

  • Nikki

    I applied for a personal loan and it was declined so I’m having my mom co-sign. Will it hit my credit score again? Should I wait so it doesn’t?

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Probably not. But be aware that the loan could affect your mother’s credit if you are late with a payment, and it could leave her with access to less credit if she should need it. (You might consider sharing with her the password to account website or having statements sent to her home so that she can be assured you are paying as agreed.) Paying on time should help your score.

  • Daniel knoll

    Hi my name is Daniel and I have 3 judgments that have been paid off and settled with note riled stamps and have been recorded in the court records. These are still on my credit report. How do I get them removed?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Paying off a judgment doesn’t remove it from your reports. It can stay for seven years from the date it was entered by the court.

  • Tracey Lamb

    Is there someone you can contact on the weekend if you think someone has stolen you social security number

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Tracey – we moderate comments on weekdays for the most part. Hope you were able to get in touch with the credit reporting agencies in the meantime.

  • DaVonta

    who do I call about a credit hold

  • William paul

    My wife has a jc penny card and I am on the account and I want it on the credit report and jc penny told me I had to ask u guys. How do I that

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      William —
      We’re not sure there is a way to ensure that a particular account is on your credit report. But JC Penney would make decisions about which credit bureau(s) to report to; we have no authority over them or the credit bureaus. Have you checked all three of your credit reports? Here’s how to do that: How Do I Get My Free Annual Credit Report?

  • Lili

    I have a credit card account that is from 2013 still reporting a balance (but has been charged off & closed), and then I have that same account reporting in collections with a collections company. When my credit is pulled, it looks like I have 2 seperate accounts reporting and looks like I’m in more debt than I actually am! How can I go about getting the information corrected, and who do I pay? Or do I pay who ever is recently in charge of the debt, and both accounts will show paid? Please help me understand this!

    I do understand that the original account will be on my report even if it has been charged off/closed. But from what I understand after doing my research, it should not being reporting a balance if it has been charged off/closed/sold to a collections company.

  • kim

    I want to fix my credit but I’m not sure how I would like to speak to a real person

  • Pires

    I want to speak to a real live Credit Bureau Customer service agent. Please provide me a number that actually connects me to a live person.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      We provided contact information in the article. Did those numbers not work for you? Not trying to give you the run around but we aren’t a credit reporting agency.

  • Roy Goodwin

    There is a total fictitious address on my credit report

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      I would definitely suggest you dispute it. It could be an indication of identity theft.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    We hope we can make it easier for you! Have you obtained your free credit score yet to see where you stand? (You’ll find it on the home page of Credit.com.)

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    Sent you an email about this..

    • Jessica Velazquez

      Just read it:) Thanks for your time and help!

  • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

    All three credit bureaus have indicated they have customer service representatives who speak Spanish. The numbers are in the story above. Is there a problem?

  • Mary Frances Prophete

    Hello I just had my credit check and I was very disappointed first off you guys reported that I have depth that I owe and the only depth I owe is maybe a hospital bill because Medicaid was supposed to pay that bill other then that I don’t owe any one I have never had a credit card and even till this day when ever I borrow money I pay It back so you have made an error that needs to be corrected sincerely MFP

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      It sounds as if you’re referring to the Credit Report Card, which is based on information from Experian, one of the three major credit reporting agencies. (And the debt you’re seeing reported may well have alerted you to an error in your credit reports.)

      You can order a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus once a year. Credit scores are based on the information in those reports. If information in your credit report is wrong, you can dispute it, and the information can be corrected. Here are a couple of resources that may be useful to you:

      How Do I Get My Free Annual Credit Report?
      How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report

      • cory

        I really need help with my credit, I have bills affecting me that I’m not responsible for such as medical bills.please help.

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          Cory – Can you please elaborate what you mean by medical bills you’re not responsible for affecting your credit? You may want to post a more detailed question on this page which talks about medical debts: Four Medical Bill Myths That Can Cost You Dearly

  • Pingback: How to Talk to a Credit Bureau | Best Credit Repair()

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team