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Credit Bureau

Credit Bureau

Telephone Numbers and Mailing Addresses of the Three Major Credit Bureaus

 

The contact information for the three major credit reporting agencies (or credit bureaus) is below.  When you contact them, you must have specific information handy so that they can verify your identity.  Note that these agencies have a duty to make sure that the person requesting a copy of his or her credit report is indeed that person and not a thief or unauthorized third party.  Therefore, if the information they have on file about you does not match the information you provide to them, there will be a delay in obtaining your report, or they might deny your request altogether. 

 

For example, if you have recently moved, the credit bureau might not have your new address and phone number yet. If you request they send your credit report to your new address, they will refuse your request and ask you to prove you are who you say you are.  This might require sending them copies of your driver's license with the new address and a statement from a landlord, utility company, etc. that proves you live at the new address.  Therefore, if you want to obtain a copy of your credit report as quickly as possible, it would be wise to phone them first and find out if you can simply order your report over the phone, or need to send them proof of your identity.  And, before contacting them, read this page entirely to find out if you would like to obtain free credit reports online with absolutely no catches or hidden fees involved.

 

Experian

P. O. Box 9595 [see note], Allen, TX 75013-9595   Tel:  888-397-3742

 

When ordering your credit report, you might be asked to provide the following information:  First, middle and last name; current address; previous addresses for the past five years; social security number, date of birth; spouse's name.  If you are not entitled to a free credit report, they will charge you a fee around $10 for a copy of your credit report

 

Note:  Experian has a long history of changing its mailing address periodically, so the mailing address provided may not be accurate.

 

Equifax

P. O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241  Tel:  800-685-1111

 

When ordering your credit report, you might be asked to provide the following information:  Full legal name, address, social security number, most recent former address.  If you are not entitled to a free credit report, they may charge you a fee around $10 for a copy of your credit report.


Trans Union

P. O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022  Tel:  800-888-4213

 

When ordering your credit report, you might be asked to provide the following information:  First, middle and last name; current address; previous addresses for past two years; social security number, date of birth; current employer; phone number.  If you are not entitled to a free credit report, they may charge you a fee around $10 for a copy of your credit report.

 

If you want to order your credit reports online, you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  The three credit bureaus have set up a website so you can easily order your credit reports online.   

You can also order your credit report online at each of the three credit bureaus' websites:  experian.com, transunion.com and equifax.com.  Howevever, if you order your credit reports online directly from their websites, there is a good chance you will have to pay a small fee, and they will try to sell you numerous services and programs that you don't really need.

 

 

The Five Factors of Credit Scoring

MyFico.com has shared information regarding the credit scoring model. Consider these five factors when trying to improve your credit.

 

35%

Payment History

Paying dept on time and in full has a positive impact; and late payments, judgments, and charge-offs have a negative impact.

30%

Outstanding Credit Balances

Debt ratio of outstanding balance to available credit is important. Keeping that below 50% is wise and below 30% even wiser. It is never a good idea to close an account; the debt ratio will go up and the number of seasoned lines will decrease. Pay outstanding debt down as close to zero as possible and evenly redistribute the remaining balance among the open lines. The increased interest incurred by moving a balance from a 0% card to a 23% card will be minimal relative to what the increased mortgage debt might be with a low-credit score. Hitting the maximums of available credit can be very negative. It may be worth calling and asking the credit company to increase your available credit to lower the debt ratio, provided they can do so without a hard credit inquiry.

15%

Length of Credit History

The length of time a particular credit line has been opened is important. A seasoned borrower is stronger. Opening a new credit card will decrease the average length, and therefore hurt this portion of the score.

10%

Type of Credit

A mix of auto loans, credit cards, and mortgages is positive, rather than a concentration in credit cards only. Be careful when getting a credit card at a store that is not a department store: the credit agencies frown on cards for more specialized stores where you're likely to make one purchase, as they seem to show desperation.

10%

Inquiries

Hard inquiries for credit will negatively impact the score. Auto and mortgage inquiries receive special treatment and 20 inquiries can be made in a 14-day period for auto or mortgage and will be treated as only one inquiry. The maximum number of inquiries that will reduce your score is 10. Any inquiries beyond that in a six-month period will have no further impact on the borrower. Each hard inquiry can cost 2-40 points on a credit score.

For more information, visit www.myfico.com. If you feel you could benefit from credit counseling, protect yourself from fraudulent organizations. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development keeps a list of approved credit counseling agencies at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hccprof14.cfm.

Additional information