Welcome to "For You Personally"
Free Annual Credit Report:
If you haven't yet ordered your one free annual credit report, you can visit www.annualcreditreport.com (opens in a new window) and place your order. You have the right to ask each of the big three credit reporting agencies for a free credit report annually.
The numbers to report fraud only are:
Trans Union - 1-800-680-7289
Equifax - 1-800-525-6285
Experian - 1-800-200-6020
Social Security Administration Fraud Line
Do not expect to talk to a real, live person here. These are automated numbers that allow you to provide the necessary identifying information and you should hear from the credit reporting agencies in a few days.
We'd recommend you notify TransUnion
first. We understand that if you notify the TransUnion Fraud Victim
Assistance Division (FVAD), they will notify the other bureaus for you.
To contact the Social Security
Administration about issues other than fraud, you can call toll free at
1-800-772-1213 during regular business days from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Or, visit them on the web at
www.socialsecurity.gov (opens in a new window)
In addition, most creditors will require
you to supply them with a police report.
Fixing Your Credit Report:
Here's some things you should
know and some helpful hints about dealing with your creditors and the
Be educated and be prepared to do the
work. This is your credit file. If you are not prepared to put
forth the time and effort to ensure that your credit file is correct,
nobody is. What's more, because of the large number of privacy laws, your
creditors in most cases are prohibited by law from discussing your
credit information with anyone but you!
If you know or suspect that something on
your credit file is incorrect, get a copy of it. The first course of
action is for you to know specifically and exactly what items are there.
The credit bureaus can not fix items you "think" or "suspect" are wrong.
You having a fresh copy of your credit file in your hands is the first
In many cases, you can get your credit
file for free. See above about the free annual credit report. If you have
been denied credit recently, you are entitled to a free copy of your file
from the credit bureau your lender or car dealer used.
After you get your credit file, carefully
read it and take time to understand what information it contains. Remember
that information is not deleted because you paid it off, filed
bankruptcy, got a divorce or disputed it. The content of your credit file
is strictly regulated by federal law. The credit bureaus and your
creditors don't just make this up as they go along. And, rest assured that
they want your information to be as accurate as you do!
Every business that reports information
about you has the ability right in their office to provide changes,
deletions or updates to the credit bureaus. It may take 10 days to two
weeks for the information to get updated but, you should not have to lodge
your dispute directly with the credit bureau first.
If you would rather dispute your
information with the credit bureaus, you may do so on line at the web site
addresses provided above. If you would rather mail your dispute, the
addresses for the credit bureaus are below. If you mail your disputes,
send the credit bureaus copies of all paperwork or receipts you have to
verify your claim along with your full and complete name, all the
addresses you have used for the past five years, and your social security
Post Office Box 1000
Chester, PA. 19022
Post Office Box 740241
Atlanta, GA. 30374-0241
Post Office Box 1017
Allen, TX. 75013
About Your Credit Report:
Some of the items that are NOT included in your credit
- Military Service
- Savings Accounts
- Checking Accounts
- Investment Portfolios
- Criminal Records
- Medical History
- Equity Position in Real Estate
- and others
Your credit file can perhaps best be described as the warehouse where information is stored about how you pay your bills. Your creditor (bank,
credit union, finance company, etc.) decides whether or not they share the information with any or all of the big three credit reporting agencies.
Some of the items included in your credit file are:
- Social Security Number
- Phone Number
- Date of Birth
- Spouse's Name
- Collection Accounts
- Public Records Items (liens, judgments, bankruptcies, etc)
- Trade Lines (car loans, credit cards, etc.)
- Inquiries (who has looked at your credit file)
It is strongly recommended that you look at your credit
report at least once every year. If you have not reviewed your credit file recently, we urge you to use the link provided on this site in order to do so. Otherwise, you do not know if someone may be reporting something in error. If you disagree with information on your credit
report, you have the right to dispute that information. No responsible credit grantor intentionally misreports any information about any of their customers. However, mistakes do happen and you can rest assured that your creditor would like to have your information correct too.
Please use the "Contact Us" portion of this
site and send us an email if you have additional questions, comments or
concerns about credit reports.
What is a debt collector?
Because of the very nature of their work, debt collectors generally are not thought of in glowing terms.
In fact, they perform an invaluable service to both their clients and the general public. If it were not for a professional debt collector's ability to collect past-due bills for credit-grantors, retail prices would be higher than they already are.
Credit grantors must collect the money owed them in order to stay in business. If credit grantors didn't use professional debt collectors, they would at least have to raise prices to those who DO pay in order to offset losses.
Why don't some people pay their bills?
Few people actually intend to "rip-off" a creditor by not paying. Many get into financial difficulty for a variety of reasons including poor planning, a prolonged illness, a job loss or a death in the family.
Many people become so embarrassed by the inability to pay that they fail to keep in touch with their creditors. The best course of action a consumer can take is to explain the problems to the creditor and work out terms that will meet everyone's needs. The creditor would much rather do this than lose money and a valued customer.
People should not wait until an account is turned over to a debt collector to contact the creditor or complain about the product or services.
Our experience has been that communication is the key to staying off the "collection rolls"
How do collectors go about collecting past-due bills?
The usual first step used by ethical debt collectors is to notify the consumer (in accordance with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and perhaps other local and state laws) that the debt has been "placed for collection". The letter will contain all the legally required notices to identify the original creditor, the amount of the debt and your rights under the FDCPA. If you dispute the debt, you have 30 days to do so in writing. After 30 days, demands can be made by the debt collectors for immediate and full payment.
If there is no response to the requests for payment by mail, the collector may begin attempts to contact the consumer by phone. When contact either by phone or mail is made, the collector's objective is to motivate the consumer to pay. If the consumer is short of money to make a full payment, the collector will usually work out a payment schedule.
What should I do if I am contacted by a collection agency?
Call or write them at once! For the collection agency, this is nothing "personal". The debt collectors have no way of knowing your situation if you will not communicate. Silence solves nothing and many times leads the collector to simply begin searching for assets and a reason to secure your creditors position by filing a small claims complaint.