How to Change Personal Information on Your Credit Report
Credit reports are important documents. They reflect your borrowing history, and creditors use them to make loan decisions and set interest rates.
In addition to reporting your financial history, your credit report contains important biographical information, like your name and address. If any of your personal information changes, you can ask the credit bureaus to change it accordingly. The process may be different for each of the three major credit reporting agencies, but each offers the ability to change personal information as needed.
What personal information appears in your credit report?
Credit reports include personally identifiable information, as well as records of your credit accounts, inquiries made on your credit and whether you appear in certain public records. Your detailed credit history and your credit score are very important parts of your credit profile. Still, your personal information is important as well — if your report includes inaccuracies or outdated information, it can impact your access to credit.
The personal information that appears on your credit report includes:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number (SSN)
- Employment information
Sometimes, people with common names may find that their credit report reflects someone else’s personally identifiable information. If you’ve changed your name for any reason, your old name may still be listed on your credit report. And if you move to a new house or find a new job, there’s a chance that these changes may not be reflected — especially not right away.
How to see personal information in a credit report
To find out whether your credit report includes incorrect personal information, request a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to access those reports for free. Simply fill out a form on the website with your name, address, SSN and other information, choose which bureaus you’d like reports from and answer a few more questions to confirm your identity.
Once you have those reports, read them carefully. In addition to your own biographical and credit information, you may see your spouse’s name if you have joint access to any credit accounts. Some credit report errors, like accounts that incorrectly show missed payments, can really hurt your credit score. It’s important to review the report from each credit bureau, as each bureau can report different information.
How to update credit report information
If you’ve identified errors, you’re not alone. In 2021, Consumer Reports found that more than a third (34%) of study participants had at least one error on their credit report. If your report contains inaccuracies, you should contact each credit bureau to ensure they get fixed. Each has a slightly different dispute process, but you should send a copy of your request to each bureau, in case there are reporting issues that cause recurring problems.
To change your name, address or other personal information, visit the myEquifax Dispute Center. You’ll need to register for an account if you haven’t already, and Equifax will likely request a lot of personal information to confirm your identity. If you need to change the name on your file, you’ll register with your old name.
You may need to upload documents to change your personal information, though the exact ones will depend on the particular information you want to change. For example, if you’re changing your name, you’ll need to upload the court order with your former and current name, plus a driver’s license or Social Security card that bears your new name.
To change your personal information with Experian, register with the Experian Dispute Center. For a name change, Experian requires you to provide a copy of the court order reflecting the name change, a government-issued form of identification with your old or new name and a dated copy of a utility, bank or insurance statement.
In addition to Experian’s online portal, there are options for changing your personal information through the mail, as well.
Unlike the other credit bureaus, TransUnion doesn’t offer online options for changing your personal information. Instead, if you’d like to change your name, date of birth or SSN, you’ll need to submit your request by mail along with the necessary supporting documents. If you’re adding a new address to your credit report, you can call TransUnion and handle the process over the phone.
Timeline for getting credit report errors fixed
Generally, credit bureaus must investigate your dispute within 30 days — but the process can sometimes be much faster, especially for straightforward changes like an address change. Many credit report disputes involve credit reporting errors instead of changing personal information, but both types are important to resolve.
If you file a dispute after receiving your free credit report, the bureaus have 45 days to review your claim, as opposed to the standard 30-day timeframe. Once the bureau has completed its investigation, they have five days to notify you of the results.