Experian is one of the three most widely used credit reporting agencies throughout the world. Like the other credit reporting agencies, they gather credit data that has been submitted to them by banks, lenders, creditors, and other financial institutions. They put this data together in a credit report for each consumer so that future creditors and lenders can review it and see how credit worthy that consumer is. In addition, they provide address validation services to the United States Postal Service and ID verification services for the United Kingdom government.
Experian offers a series of online tools to individuals so they can manage their credit better and hopefully improve their credit score. That way, they’ll have a better chance of getting approved for loans in the future. As for businesses, they are able to purchase access to the credit reports and records of individuals. Of course, this access needs to be authorized by the individual before third-party businesses can see the report.
In total, Experian has offices in more than 40 nations with roughly 17,000 employees. Some of their operational headquarters can be found in the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil. The main corporate headquarters of the company is based in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland. Since it is a for-profit public company, it is traded via the London Stock Exchange.
What Information is On My Experian Credit Report?
An Experian credit report lists the credit accounts that you have opened and used in the past. Each account that is listed will have detailed information about the amount of debt that was owed and how consistent you were in making the monthly payments on that debt. If you missed a payment, for example, then the missed payment will be reflected on the report. In addition, all the successful payments that you made on time will also show up on the report. So, whether you managed your credit well in the past or terribly, your actions toward these accounts will all be reflected on the Experian credit report.
Some of the most common credit accounts you will find on an Experian credit report include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, and any other type of installment loan where you have a set number of monthly payments to make. Each account listed will state the name of the creditor, the account number, complete payment history, total debt balance still owed, and the overall status of the account. Your consumer information will also appear on the top of the report, such as your full name, date of birth, social security number, previous employers, previous addresses, and your past and present phone numbers.
If you experienced any bankruptcies, tax liens, or court judgments within the last 10 years then they are going to show up on your Experian credit report too. In fact, anytime a third-party makes a request to view your credit report, this inquiry will be marked on the report. Inquiries generally bring the credit score down if too many are made within a short amount of time. This is another reason why consumers use Experian tools to manage their credit score so they can know if they’re authorizing too many third parties to look at their credit report.
Every consumer is entitled to receive one free copy of their Experian credit report within a 12-month period. The credit report will have a credit score on it that ranges from 300 to 850. The more negative marks you have, the lower your credit score will be. The more on-time payments and satisfied accounts that you have, the higher your score will be. To request a free copy of your report from Experian, just go online to Experian.com and fill out their request form. You will not be required to submit any credit card information like you would with third-party credit report services.
How Long Does Information Stay on My Experian Credit Report?
Experian keeps certain types of information on your credit report longer than others. The length of time that information stays on your credit report will depend on its level of importance or seriousness. That way, creditors and lenders will have a better idea of how much of a credit risk you are. With general inquiries, for example, they stay on your credit report for 2 years after the time when the inquiry was first made. However, Experian is cutting down on the effect that general inquiries have on your credit score. Now it only takes a few months for the credit score to stop being affected by inquiries that were made.
The most common information that consumers want to see go away on their credit report is their history of late payments. If you still have unpaid credit accounts or payments that have not been made, then this information will stay on your credit report until it does get paid. After that, it will take 7 years from the date your credit account originally became delinquent before the negative mark will go away. The same goes for collection accounts too. It will be 7 years from when your collection account originally became delinquent for that negative mark to be removed.
As for bankruptcies and tax liens, they are considered to be the most serious negative marks you could have on your Experian credit report. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed in court, this will last for as much as 10 years on your credit report. Tax liens that remain unpaid will last stay on the report for 10 years. However, if you have paid off these tax liens, then it will take 7 years from the date they were paid for it to be removed from your report.
How Do I Dispute the Information from My Experian Credit Report?
If you have requested a free copy of your Experian credit report, review all the information thoroughly and take note of all the inaccuracies that you believe are on there. Then you will want to proceed to file a dispute with Experian so you can let them know about the inaccuracies and hopefully get them to update your credit report so they are removed. Experian makes it very easy to file a dispute for free. Just visit Experian.com/dispute and you will be brought to their online dispute form.
The Experian online dispute form will give you a chance to state all the problems you see with the information on your credit report. You will also be given the opportunity to upload any supporting documentation to back up your reasonings for the dispute. For example, let’s say you paid off your car loan account but the credit report still shows the account open, you could then upload scanned copies of your loan statements which show it was paid. This will help speed up Experian’s investigation process. Experian does provide the option to mail your dispute and documentation if necessary.
Once Experian receives the dispute form and supporting documentation, it will take them between 30 to 45 days for their investigation to be completed. However, many disputes filed online will only take a few weeks to be completed. Afterward, you will receive a message back from Experian with the results of the investigation. They will either approve your dispute and remove the inaccuracies from the report or they will disagree with your dispute and leave the original information on there. If you don’t agree with the results of the dispute, you are allowed to attach your own “statement of dispute” to your Experian credit report which expresses your opinion about the results and why you believe they are wrong.