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  • What information is included in my credit report?
  • Your personal credit report contains:
    • Federal district bankruptcy records and state and county court records of tax liens and monetary judgments. This information comes from public records.
    • Specific information about each account, such as the date opened, credit limit or loan amount, balance, monthly payment and payment pattern during the past several years. This information comes from companies that do business with you.
    • The names of those who have obtained a copy of your credit report. (On your copy of your Experian credit report, addresses are included.) This information comes from the credit reporting agency.
    • Your name, current and previous addresses, phone number, Social Security number, date of birth and current and previous employers. Your spouse's name may appear on your version of the credit report, but it will not appear on the version that is provided to others. This information comes in part from your credit applications, so its accuracy depends on your filling out the forms clearly, completely and consistently each time you apply for credit.
    • Statements of dispute, which allow both consumers and creditors to report the factual history of an account. Statements of dispute are added after a consumer officially disputes the status of an account, the account has been reinvestigated, and the consumer and creditor cannot agree about the account status. Both the consumer's and creditor's statements of the account status will appear on the credit report.
    Most of the data Experian has on file is positive, indicating that most people pay their bills on time.
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  • How often should I check my credit report?
  • Your credit history plays a major role when you apply for any type of credit or loan, such as a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, employment screening, utilities deposits and insurance. It is a good idea to know what is included in your credit history before applying for credit or a loan. Creditors and lenders use your credit history to determine if you are a credit risk. The most important thing you can do to demonstrate you are a good credit risk is to pay your bills on time.
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  • Why aren't my spouse's accounts displayed on my credit report?

  • The credit reporting agencies maintain individual credit files for each U.S. resident. They do not maintain combined files for spouses. Therefore, your credit report is separate and different from your spouse's. Joint credit accounts you have with your spouse will appear on both credit reports.
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  • What information is not in a credit report?
  • Your Experian credit report does not contain - and Experian does not collect - data about race, religious preference, medical history, personal lifestyle, political preference, friends, criminal record or any other information unrelated to credit.
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  • How can I get a copy of my credit report besides online?
  • To purchase a copy of your credit report via telephone, call 1 800 311 4769. Please have your address, ZIP CodeTM and Social Security number on hand when you call. In addition, please review our fee information.
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  • What should I do if I find an error in my credit report?
  • First, get a copy of your report and review it carefully. If you find an error, you may dispute it online. You can also call the telephone number on your credit report for assistance if you feel any information is inaccurate or incomplete.

    Please be specific by including the account number of an item you feel is in error and explain exactly why you feel it is inaccurate. Simply saying an item is wrong does not give enough detail to help resolve the issue. Investigations of disputed items can take up to 30 days, or up to 45 days for items disputed on an annual free credit report.
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  • Can credit repair clinics fix my bad credit?
  • Some consumers pay so-called credit clinics hundreds and even thousands of dollars to fix their credit report, but only time can heal bad credit. Experian credit reports contain easy-to-follow instructions for disputing information at no charge. Information proven to be inaccurate will be changed or deleted. Federal and state laws mandate the amount of time that various credit information remains on a credit report.

    If you need help repaying creditors, managing debt or setting up a personal budget, consider contacting a nonprofit credit counseling organization that offers budgeting and credit management training.

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  • How does a credit bureau help me?
  • If you're like most consumers in the United States, your ability to own a home, purchase a car, fund a college education, travel and make routine purchases hinges on your responsible use of credit. Because an automated credit reporting system run by national consumer credit reporting agencies works quietly in the background, you have unlimited options in your financial life. For example, you can:
    • Purchase a home in one area of the country based on the good credit record you established while living in another part of the country.
    • Shop for and be offered financial services from institutions in other regions of the country.
    • Negotiate a deal for a new car and drive it off the lot within a few hours.
    Credit reporting also helps foster intense competitive marketing battles among financial services providers. This competition provides you with:
    • Lower interest rates
    • Reduced annual fees
    • Special toll-free customer service phone numbers
    • Customer recognition programs
    • Purchase protection plans, and many other benefits.

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  • How long does information remain on the credit report?
  • Experian stores information from credit grantors and public records, including bankruptcies, judgments and liens. Missed payments and most public record items remain on the credit report for seven years, with the exception of Chapter 7, 11 and 12 bankruptcies, which remain for 10 years, and unpaid tax liens, which remain for up to 15 years.

    Active positive information may remain on the report indefinitely.

    Requests for your credit history remain on the credit report for up to two years.
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  • Why can't information be deleted from the credit report?
  • Experian stores information from credit grantors and public records in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. When you use credit, a record of your payment history is reported to credit reporting agencies.

    If you believe the information in the credit report is inaccurate, you may dispute it and we will investigate and correct or remove any inaccurate information or information that cannot be verified.
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  • Does Experian approve or deny credit?
  • Experian does not grant or deny credit. Each credit grantor makes that decision based on its own guidelines. Experian only stores information from credit grantors and public records and supplies this information to other creditors.
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  • How does a collection account appear on the credit report?
  • While you make payments on your collection account, the status will remain "collection account." Once you pay the account in full, then it will show "paid collection." A paid collection account will remain on the credit report for seven years from the initial missed payment that led to the collection.
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  • Why does student loan information appear more than once on the credit report?
  • Student loans are reported individually by enrollment periods, therefore, the loans cannot be combined.
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  • How do I contact the other national consumer reporting agencies?
  • You may call TransUnion at 1 800 888 4213.
    You may call Equifax at 1 800 685 1111.
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  • How can I contact a customer service representative?
  • Experian can best assist a consumer who has first obtained a copy of their personal credit report. To obtain a copy, order now, or call 1 888 EXPERIAN, (1 888 397 3742). Once you receive your report, it will display the appropriate contact phone number or address for consumers should you believe any information is incorrect.

    In order to speak to an Experian customer service representative about your personal credit report, you will first be required to enter your report number.
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  • Whatís the difference between a consumer disclosure and a credit report?
  • A consumer disclosure contains a comprehensive history of your credit information, including all inquiries. A credit report contains the same type of credit information and inquiries that a lender or creditor will see when they check your credit. The key difference is the consumer disclosure includes some inquiries, such as account monitoring and those resulting in pre-approved offers and some address and demographic information that is not displayed on the credit report viewed by lenders. Click here to order your Experian credit file disclosure for $10, plus applicable tax.
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  • How can I order a copy of my personal credit report?
  • For fast and efficient access to your personal credit report, go to Personal Services and select any of our options for ordering your personal credit report. You can order your Experian credit report and score, for only $14.50, or sign up for a free 30-day trial membership to Credit Manager.

    You also may call 1 866 200 6020 to request a copy of your personal credit report to be delivered by U.S. mail.

    All consumers are also eligible to obtain one statutory free annual credit file disclosure from each of the national credit reporting companies every twelve months. You may request your disclosures at or by calling 877 FACTACT. If you prefer to write, a request form is available at
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  • I hear I can get a free copy of my credit report if Iíve been turned down for a loan. How does that work?
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you may be entitled to receive a free copy of your personal credit report if you have received notice within the past 60 days that you have been declined credit, employment or housing, or if adverse action has been taken against you based on information from Experian. You can order your free report online at, or by calling 1 866 200 6020. If not eligible, some state laws require a free credit report or a lesser fee for consumers in their states.
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