Updating your personal information with a credit bureau is a task many people put on the back burner. It may not feel like a priority or a big deal, and it’s often forgotten about or neglected. But having updated information with your creditors and the credit bureaus is an important step to your personal financial health. How do you update your personal information with credit bureaus? Read on to find out.
Updating personal information with credit bureaus
Keeping your information up to date is very important. In today’s fast-paced culture, it’s difficult to remember all of the bills and subscriptions you have. If your information is not correct, and if the billing company or subscription service ever needed to contact you, they may not be able to reach you if your information is outdated. If this causes you to miss a payment or have your account go into collections, your credit score would be negatively impacted. Having a high credit score doesn’t happen by accident, and if you’re trying to rebuild your credit score you certainly appreciate how much work it takes. Having your personal information correct is a great first step on your personal financial health journey.
Reasons to update your credit report
There are numerous reasons you may need to update your information with a credit bureau. Below are some of the most common:
- Name changes: If you get married or legally change your name, be sure to update your information.
- Address change: Updating your address with credit bureaus ensures all letters are sent to the right location. If a creditor or credit bureau needs to mail you something important, you do not want this information sent to the incorrect address.
- Identity theft: If you are a victim of identity theft, be sure to notify credit agencies. You may need to dispute charges or bills that are now on your credit report.
Does updating personal information affect your credit score?
Updating your personal information will not affect your credit score. Updating your personal information is good housekeeping to keep everything accurate and up-to-date. If a credit bureau needs to contact you, or if you needed to verify your identity with a credit bureau, having updated information will make it a more seamless process.
Changing personal information on your credit report
Unfortunately, updating your personal information on a credit report is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different credit bureaus may have different requirements that must be met.
Updating a name change
If you are updating your name, be prepared to furnish the creditor or credit bureau with proof of your legal name change. This is typically most common when one gets married. Having a copy of your marriage license and updated identification such as a new Social Security card or driver’s license is often required.
Updating an address change
Updating your address is pretty straightforward. Generally speaking, you’ll need to contact the various creditors you have to provide them with a new address. For example, if your cell phone bill is being sent to your old address, contact your carrier and inform them of your new address. Proof of the address change may be required.
Updating your address with Equifax requires a bit more work but nothing overwhelming. Equifax requires you to send a letter stating the address change and provide two qualifying documents proving you have a new address. These documents are typically bills being sent to your new address.
TransUnion has a similar process to Equifax. You can contact TransUnion over the phone (800-916-8800), to inform it of your address change, but you will also need to provide TransUnion with proof of the address change. Providing TransUnion with a lease/rental agreement, updated driver’s license or a utility bill in your name at the new address are all acceptable forms of proof.
Updating a Social Security number change
Changing your name and address is far more common than changing your Social Security number. In the rare event you changed your Social Security number, you’ll still want to make sure all of this information is accurate across the various credit bureaus and creditors you do business with.
You do not need to update your Social Security number with Experian. Rather, Experian wants you to update your Social Security number directly with the various creditors you do business with. For example, if you are financing a car, make sure the bank you are financing the car with has your updated Social Security number.
TransUnion requires you to notify it whenever your Social Security number changes. You must do this by mail, but the process is simple. TransUnion will require proof of change, which can include a copy of your updated Social Security card.
You can change your Social Security number directly with Equifax by submitting a copy of your new social Security Card or a pay stub with your Social Security number on it. A W-2 form or Medicaid/Medicare information with your new Social Security number on it is also acceptable.
In addition to updating your Social Security number with the credit bureaus, you should update your information with the creditors. Contacting each creditor individually and providing them with the appropriate paperwork will be required.
What to do if you notice incorrect information on your credit report
A credit report does more than just show you your credit score. It will show anytime your credit is pulled and will highlight who you are borrowing money from. In a world where identity theft is far too common, it’s important to always have an understanding of any bills or debt in your name, which will be shown on your credit report. In the event you notice a bill, debt or credit pull for something you don’t recognize, be sure to dispute this as quickly as possible. Each credit agency has a different process you’ll need to follow if you want to dispute any incorrect information.
Experian has a straightforward process if you ever need to dispute inaccuracies on your credit report, and the best part is that Experian doesn’t charge for disputed claims. You can either dispute your claims online or by mail.
It doesn’t matter whether you dispute your claim online or by mail. You will still need to provide Experian with personal information and proof of why you believe the results of the report are inaccurate.
You can dispute information on your Equifax by following the steps on its website or by mail. If you see the information on your Equifax report is inaccurate, and/or if you suspect fraud, be sure to dispute that specific incident.
Be prepared to provide Equifax with information to justify the dispute. For example, you will need to provide personal information such as your driver’s license and Social Security card in addition to proof or reasoning why you believe the information is inaccurate or a fraud.
To dispute a claim with TransUnion, you’ll need to have a username and password. TransUnion’s online portal is the most efficient way to begin the dispute process. Like Experian and Equifax, be prepared to furnish TransUnion with proof and reasoning why you are disputing the claim.
Accurate Information is Critical
Having all your personal information up-to-date and accurate with credit bureaus and creditors is critical. The wrong information can lead to bills being sent to the wrong address or notifications of a past-due balance going unnoticed. These situations happen all the time and can negatively affect your credit score. Ensuring your information is updated is part of personal finance hygiene. Considering how infrequently your personal information changes, it isn’t a burden to update your information whenever this occurs.
Why does my personal information not match the credit bureau?
Your personal information may not match the credit bureau for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, you moved and forgot to inform the credit bureau or creditors, or you changed your legal name and forgot to inform the necessary parties.
Can I ask a credit bureau to update my personal information?
You can contact the credit bureau and have it update your information, but each bureau must be contacted individually.
How long does it take the credit bureau to update?
Generally speaking, it takes 30 to 45 days for the credit bureau to update your information.