Like a lot of other personal finance bloggers, I’m a huge fan of Annual Credit Report. Unlike a lot of other services, this one is actually free and since you’re requesting it, it does not cause a hard inquiry on your account. Each year, you can get a free credit report from each of the three reporting credit bureaus: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You can get all three of them at once, or you can spread them out over the course of the year, getting them evenly once every 4 months. You have to wait 12 months to get a free report from the same bureau, so choose carefully.
I tried to get my free credit report online through Equifax awhile ago but was denied for some reason. I tried again a few weeks later but again got rejected. It wasn’t all that important to me at the time because I haven’t noticed any fraudulent behavior, but when the same thing happened a few months later, I got curious. I don’t need the credit report, but since I’m entitled to one, I definitely want to find out what’s going on!
I looked through some of the details and requested that they mail me my report. A few weeks later the full report arrived, and everything looked normal. I saw all of my accounts, everything was up-to-date, and I still had no answer as to why I couldn’t receive the same information online.
Then, I noticed the error. My birth date was wrong. I was born in August but the report showed I had a birth date in May. How dare they!
This isn’t something that had changed, so I don’t know why my access was suddenly revoked, but my next mission was to get this changed. I couldn’t just call them and tell them that they were wrong (I couldn’t but that wouldn’t change anything for the future), so I knew I’d have to send them some real verification in order to correct their error.
I filled out a form online and they accepted it and said to send in a copy of my passport and a copy of my license, both of which have my correct birth date on them.
I scanned them in, printed them out, and sent away my information. A few weeks later I got a report saying it had been updated and they would notify the other credit bureaus of the correction.
Pretty easy if you ask me! A little bit of a hassle but I’m glad to see that it’s taken care of now.
While scanning my license, I did find another error, this time on my California license. Somehow, they had me listed as “Sex: F”
Oh, no! I get the feeling the DMV is going to be a lot more of a hassle than the credit bureaus.