National Check Fraud Center

Credit Bureaus and Credit Reports

Credit Bureaus and Credit Reports:

Your credit payment history is recorded in a file known as a credit report or credit profile. These credit reports are maintained and sold by credit reporting agencies (CRAs), commonly known as credit bureaus, such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian (formerly TRW). If you have ever applied for a credit or charge account, a personal loan, insurance, or a job, you would have a credit record on file. Your credit record may contain information about your debts and credit payment history. It also may indicate whether judgments have been entered against you, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy. Only credit grantors make credit decisions, not credit reporting agencies.

Your Credit History and Ratings:

A good credit rating is very important. Businesses and financial institutions inspect your credit history when they evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and even leases. Based on your credit payment history, companies can choose to grant or deny you credit provided you receive fair and equal treatment. Sometimes, things happen that can cause credit problems: a temporary loss of income, an illness, even a computer error. Solving credit problems may take time and patience, but it doesn't have to be an ordeal.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act:

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires CRAs to furnish correct and complete information for businesses to use when evaluating your application.

Your rights under the FCRA include the following:

  • You have the right to know all the information in your credit report, including the source of the information in most cases,
  • You have the right to know the name of anyone who received your credit report in the last 12 months,
  • You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your application is denied because of information supplied by the CRA. Your request must be made within 30 days of receiving your denial notice,
  • You have a right to add a 100-word summary explanation to your credit report if the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction.

Credit Bureaus:

Equifax

  • Report fraud:
    800-525-6285

  • Order copy of report:
    P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
    Or call: 800-685-1111

  • Dispute information in report:
    P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
    Or call the phone number provided in your credit report

  • Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit:
    800-219-1251 (California only)
    Or write: Equifax Options, P.O. Box 740123, Atlanta GA 30374-0123

Experian

  • Report fraud:
    888-397-3742
    By mail: Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
    P.O. Box 9530
    Allen, TX 75013

  • Order copy of report:
    Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
    P.O. Box 2002
    Allen, TX 75013
    Or call: 888-397-3742

  • Dispute information in report:
    Contact Experian at address and phone number provided on your credit report

  • Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit:
    Call 888-567-8688

TransUnion

  • Report fraud:
    800-680-7289

  • Order copy of report:
    P.O. Box 390
    Springfield, PA 19064
    Or call: 800-916-8800

  • Dispute information in report:
    Call number provided on credit report or use "investigation request form" provided by TransUnion when you order your report.

  • Opt out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists:
    800-680-7293

Remember, if you have been denied credit, you are entitled to a free credit report. Effective October 1997, if you are a victim of identity fraud, you are entitled by Federal law to a free annual credit report.

It normally takes about ten working days to receive your credit report. If you want to reveiw your file now, you can obtain your report by use of the internet. We have found that the following company can provide you with a report within thirty (30) seconds from all three credit bureaus if needed.

Free Annual Credit Report:

The Federal Trade Commission provides an excellent report on how to obtain your free annual credit report. The report is titled "How to Access to Free Credit Reports."

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/freereports.htm

To order your free annual report - You can now request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

You can also request your report by phone or mail. Monitoring and periodically reviewing your credit report is an effective tool in fighting identity theft.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Identity Fraud:

WHAT IF IT HAPPENS TO ME? Identity theft is a multi-faceted problem that is unlikely to go away. If you should become a victim, you will need to take action quickly: Follow the following suggestions will get you started in the right direction.

  • Notify the police, banks, and creditors immediately,
  • Obtain a copy of your police report (as evidence of the fraud having been perpetrated),
  • Cancel all existing credit cards, accounts, passwords and PINs, and replace them with entirely new ones,
  • Call the credit bureaus and ask each to attach a fraud alert and victim's statement to your report,
  • Ask creditors to call you prior to adding any new items to your report,
  • Have all corrections forwarded to anyone who has received your credit report within the past two years. Ask for a free copy of your report after three months,
  • Contact the post office if you suspect that an identity thief has filed a change of address form for your name, and is diverting your mail to another address,
  • Alert all utility companies that someone has been using your identity fraudulently and inform the appropriate authorities that someone may be abusing your SIN and/or driver's license number,
  • Take action to have any criminal or civil judgments against you that may have resulted from your identity thief's actions, permanently removed,
  • Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents. You may also wish to contact a privacy or consumer advocacy group.

If you are or have been a victim of identity theft and you are unable to write checks or you have been denied credit due to the fraudulent misuse of your name and social security number, contact this office at once. We have been able to assist many victims in resolving this criminal matter.

National Check Fraud Center
Contact Information

Call Us 843-571-2143
Write Us National Check Fraud Center
811 Canary Drive
Charleston, S. C. 29414
Email Us ncfc@ckfraud.org

For additional information on what to do, who to contact, where to report, etc., go to our web site IDENTITY FRAUD.



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