If you have ever tried it, you know that contacting the credit bureaus can sometimes be a hassle. It’s important however that you know where, why and how to contact the credit bureaus. If you’ve ever had identity theft or a credit card stolen then credit bureaus can help you fix the wrongs that have been placed upon you. Here is some general information on credit bureaus and how to contact them if the need arises.
What is a credit bureau?
A credit bureau is a company that collects information on individual’s credit standing and history. This can include things like how much credit a person is in debt for (loans, credit cards, etc.), if they’ve ever filed bankruptcy, and all delinquent accounts. They pretty much know everything you don’t want anyone to know about your finances. They have access to your name, address (current and past) and worst of your social security number. So what do they do with all this information? They take it and give you a credit score; it ranges from poor to excellent. That score is then used by loan officers, apartment landlords, and anyone else needing to know if you can be trusted to pay what you will soon owe. The higher your credit score the more likely you will qualify for loans and credit cards; the higher the score also means that you will qualify for more money.
What kind of information can you get from a credit Union?
There are usually a few reasons people try to contact credit unions:
1. The first reason is because something has happened with their credit; a mistake, a stolen card, or something to do with that. If you’ve had a credit card or a social security number stolen and are afraid that your identity will be stolen as well then contacting all three major credit bureaus is the first step to take. The credit bureau can place holds on all credit transactions done with your card and can place security alert warnings on your social security number. If anyone tries to use it the credit bureaus will know immediately.
2. The second reason is usually because they want to get a copy of their credit report. Although most people think that the only place to get a credit report is from the major credit bureaus they will almost always charge you to do it. If you just need a copy of your credit report and don’t want to pay any money for it, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com and you will be able to get a yearly credit report from all major credit bureaus.
3. The third reason a credit bureau would be contacted is because an individual is applying for some type of loan and the company wants to make sure if the individual can be responsible to repay what is borrowed. It’s almost inevitable today to get through life without taking out a loan on something; a home, a car, whatever it may be you will have to have your credit checked before you get approved for the loan.
How to contact the credit bureaus?
• Experian: Experian is the largest of the three major credit bureaus located in Texas. The phone number for Experian is 1-888-397-3742. They can also be reached by mail: P.O. Box 2104 Allen, TX, 75013
• Equifax: Equifax can be found on the web at Equifax, can be contacted by phone and by mail. The phone number is 1-800-865-1111 (this one will help with general questions; the second number is for reporting claims, 1-800-525-6285. Their mailing address is: P.O. Box 740201, Atlanta, GA, 30374-0241
• TransUnion: The phone number for contacting TransUnion is 1-800-916-8800 which is for general inquiries about credit. The address for general customer service is P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA, 19022. They have a separate address for reporting fraud and other claims which is: TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA, 92634
So now you know a little bit more about the credit bureaus and how to contact them if need be.