How to Contact Experian
You see ads for credit reports, credit protection, and fraud alerts all over the place. Now that people are using the Internet to make tons of purchases, the age of identity theft is upon us — or at least, that’s what credit report companies want us to believe. If you have concerns about your credit history or think you may be the victim of credit fraud, or if you just want to know where you stand credit-wise, contacting one of the three major credit bureaus is your first step. Experian is one of these three major credit reporting institutions, so getting a picture of your credit situation from them is part of the battle for good credit.
There are multiple ways to contact Experian.
What Is a Credit Bureau? What Does Experian Do?
A credit bureau is a company that goes about the business of gathering information on a person’s consumer credit — how much credit a person has left, how much money they owes to loans, credit cards, or other sources, if that person has filed for bankruptcy or has any liens placed on them, and (maybe most importantly) if that person has ever been delinquent in paying off debts. The same credit bureaus that gather all that information also contain details about you, such as your name, current and old addresses, and social security number.
The three big credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) look at all your debt and credit details and assign you a credit score based on that information. This credit score is accepted nationwide as the standard for your credit history, and credit lenders (like credit card companies and landlords) look at that number to see if a person is credit worthy.
What Information Do You Want from Experian
People usually contact credit bureaus for one of two reasons — either for a copy of their credit report or in order to dispute a mistake on that credit report. There are a few other reasons, but those two are the most common and most important.
You might want a copy of your credit score just to check and see where you stand. When a creditor looks at your credit score, they know more information about you — if you don’t know what’s on your credit report. You can get a general idea of your credit worthiness by considering if you pay all of your bills on time, if you have any maxed out credit cards, or have defaulted on loans. Any number of poor financial decisions are reflected on your credit score — so if you have a bumpy financial past, you can bet your credit score is not so good. Then again, getting a copy of your actual credit score from a company like Experian is easy, and it gives you a concrete number, the same number your potential creditors can see. Planning to repair your credit or take out a loan requires careful attention be paid to your credit score.
You can request a copy of your credit report in order to see what creditors have been inquiring about your credit history. Because credit reports contain lists of recent inquiries, your personal credit report will let you know if a given company checked your credit before lending to you. Another great reason for staying on top of your credit report — to see if anyone has been attempting identity theft by opening a bank account in your name or signing up for a credit card you’ve never heard of. Your copy of your credit report from Experian will list all the lines of credit you have opened ,including old credit sources like credit cards that have already been paid off. If you see any unfamiliar credit lines, that’s a big red flag that you may be the victim of identity theft.
How to Contact Experian to Dispute Your Credit Report
When it comes time to questions something on your credit report, this means that one of the credit bureaus got something wrong and it is time to file an official dispute to have your credit report fixed. In the case of the three major credit bureaus, contacting them to make a dispute is as easy as calling a particular credit bureau’s customer service phone number and simply follow that company’s procedures for filing a dispute. In the case of Experian, simply call 1-888-397-3742.
Why You Shouldn’t Pay for a Credit Report
If you have never looked at a copy of your credit report, or if it has been a year or more since the last time, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Unlike those annoying television commercials suggesting they’ll give you a credit report for free (neglecting to mention that you also sign up for a monthly service and a fee), it is possible to get a totally free credit report. You can order one credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once a year, every year of your life. This is a consumer right that is granted by law — instead of getting ripped off with monthly surcharges and inaccurate credit “scores”, you should contact Experian or one of the other two credit bureaus directly. Once you request more than one credit score for each credit bureau, you’ll have to start paying for additional reports.
Contacting Experian about a Credit Report, or to Report Fraud, or to Dispute a Claim
Experian is the largest of the three credit bureaus. To contact Experian about a credit report or to report fraud or to dispute a claim, call 1-888-397-3742.
If you need to contact them by mail, use this mailing address — P.O. Box 2104 Allen, TX, 75013.
See also: How to Contact Equifax