There are different reasons why you might need to contact a credit bureau. You might be interested in getting your credit reports. You might need to correct information or dispute a negative item. You might want to opt out of mailings, or you might want to remove excessive credit inquiries or information related to being an authorized user on someone’s account. Depending on your reasons for needing to contact the credit bureaus, there’s a variety of important information that you might need to give them. Here are some general guidelines.
Information Required for Free Reports
To get your free report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com, you’ll need your full name, address, social security number, and date of birth. If you have moved, you may have to provide your previous address. You’ll also be asked some personal security questions. You won’t know what these will be until you make your request, so be prepared to look into your files. Often they will ask the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.
Information Required to Dispute Negative Items
If you need to dispute an inaccurate item on your credit report, you’ll need your personal information such as your full name, address, social security number, and date of birth. You’ll also need documentation about the item that appears on your report. And you’ll also need documentation which proves the negative item does not belong to you, was paid or settled, was discharged, or is not your responsibility.
The more proof you have the better. If proof is unavailable, you’ll want a record of who told you what and when; in other words, every name and number you used to make your inquiries. Depending on where you’re at with your dispute, you’ll want to let the credit bureaus know you’re familiar with sections 611 and 616 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). See the dispute section of this website for more information.
Information Required to Opt Out of Marketing Offers
To opt out of marketing lists sold by the credit bureaus, you’ll need your personal information such as your full name, address, social security number, and date of birth. You might also need to answer some secure questions. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT for details.
Information Required to Remove Credit Inquiries
To remove credit inquiries from your report, you’ll need your personal information and detailed information about each inquiry. You might also need a reasonable explanation for why you have the inquiries. You’ll either be explaining why they shouldn’t be there, or why you have so many; for example, you were shopping around for financing, so the inquiries should have been buffered. See elsewhere on this website for more information.
Information Required to Remove Authorized Users
Once you have removed authorized users from a credit card, they can contact the credit bureaus with their personal information and the account information to request negative items be taken off their reports. It might be helpful to have proof they were only authorized users and not primary account holders for the card, although this shouldn’t be necessary. The same information will be required if letters of dispute have to be sent.