Having been a victim of identity theft has taught me to check my credit report three times a year to make sure I’m not being ripped off. The passage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act has made this practice much more cost effective the past few years. Now I can simply go to AnnualCreditReport.com three times a year to obtain a copy of my credit report from one of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). In doing so this year, I discovered an address on my Experian credit report at which I never resided. Having an inaccurate address on your credit report could be suspicious because it may indicate that someone is trying to open credit in your name but at a different address. So, here’s how to formally get Experian to investigate and/or remove any inaccurate information from your credit report.
[step 1] Go to AnnualCreditReport.com and obtain your free annual Experian credit report. NOTE: you can only do this free of charge once a year, and the report you’ll get won’t include your “credit score” a number you’ll often hear in association with your credit. You don’t need a “credit score” to determine problems or errors on your credit report, however.
[step 2] Scrutinize it carefully. If there are any inaccuracies on it, note the identification number next to the particular item and call this number: 800-493-1058 (M-F 9am – 5pm in your time zone).
[step 3] You’ll be prompted for your credit report number (found on the top of your report) and the last 4 digits of your SSN. Using the keypad and automated menu, navigate through the system until you get to the correct menu choice (in my case report an incorrect address). You’ll now need to enter the identification number for the incorrect item (i.e. the address). Once you do so Experian will open an investigation into that item on your credit report.
[step 4] Go to http://experian.com/status and enter the requested information to be emailed when the status of the investigation has been completed or simply call 800-493-1058 to check the status via phone.
That’s it, much easier than the Federal Trade Commissions suggested snail mail method.