- You have a right to keep your financial information private.
- Obtain a free Congress-mandated credit report each year – 75% of all credit reports have a mistake in them. Log on to http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com
to get yours. Mistakes can affect your credit score, and ultimately
lead to higher interest rates. This report also helps you determine
identity theft. Call 877-322-8228.
- Check your credit report at least twice a year to make sure everything is in order.
- There are only 3 credit bureaus
in the U.S. who gather and report credit information. When someone who
is unauthorized makes an inquiry about your credit, you will know about
it if you monitor those inquiries. Look at your annual credit report
for FREE: http://annualcreditreport.com
- Federal law requires that each credit bureau
provide all citizens with one free credit report annually. In
addition, these three credit bureaus each charge about $10 for a freeze
on your credit file, and another $10 for a thaw (which could take up to 3
days to thaw it). By freezing access to your credit file, the file
becomes off-limits to anyone who doesn’t know the secret PIN number that
- Freeze your Credit Reports.
If your wallet or credit cards have been stolen, or you suspect you have
been a victim of identity theft, Washington State law allows citizens
to order a “freeze” on your credit reports, which helps prevent a thief
from opening new accounts in a victim’s name. Place a “Fraud Alert” on
your credit reports. Mail or forward copies of the police report to
all 3 credit agencies with a cover letter requesting your complete
credit file. Then, call every creditor with a bogus account listed in
your file, and have them close it immediately.
Fraud alerts can be reported to one of the 3 national credit report agencies, placing a fraud alert on your name and your Social Security number. Contact the following numbers immediately:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
- Remove your name from mailing lists.
Insurance companies, banks, and other companies are allowed to access
your credit report when making their mailing lists. You have the right
to stop receiving financial junk mail, or stop allowing insurance
companies, banks, and other companies to access your credit report from
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion records. Call the following consumer
reporting agencies toll-free at 1-888-567-8688, or write:
PO Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
Experian Target Marketing
PO Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Opt Out Request
PO Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094-0505
- Help prevent identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report. (See the "Identity theft" topic on this website.)