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Can't Get Your Credit Report Online? You're Not Alone

What to Do If You Cannot Access Your Online Credit Report

Annual Credit Report was set up by the three major credit bureaus and the government so that all of us can see what information, about us, is distributed to creditors, landlords, employers, insurance agents, utility services, and more.  The idea is that we can go online, answer a few questions about ourselves and the information in our reports, and, viola, see our data.

Unfortunately, it does not always work that way. Many people experience problems accessing their credit reports online. When they cannot see their report, they are referred to a form that must be mailed to the credit bureaus to obtain their credit report.

Why Can’t I Get My Annual Credit Report Online?

The most common reason for being unable to access your credit reports online is being unable to remember key pieces of information. The other issue may be that the address you entered when requesting the report does not match the address the credit bureau has on file.

Common Reasons Consumers Can't Access Their Credit Report Online

Answering questions incorrectly can happen for several reasons. Sometimes people are asked about accounts that they do not have. The answer seems simple enough, “None of the above.” However, confusion may lead to selecting the wrong option.

Others are not sure of the names of creditors listed on their credit reports or the number of loan payments that they make on accounts. Both of these are common questions and if you’re unsure, you may choose the wrong answer. 

Finally, some people cannot remember the names of the streets they lived on long ago. In some cases, a person may have lived on the street 50 years ago and have no recollection of the name.

Browse frequently asked questions about consumer credit here

Information & documents required for your Annual Credit Report

What is rarely communicated with that form, is that people need to submit proof of their identity, as well. This typically means three pieces of information:

Accepted Proofs of Identity for Annual Credit Report:

  • An identification card (driver’s license, military ID, state-issued ID, etc.).
  • Item verifying social security number.
  • Social security card
  • Pay stub with the social security number
  • W2 form
  • Address verification. The driver’s license or ID may be used for this purpose as well. Otherwise, a rental or lease agreement, pay stub with address, or utility bill are typically accepted.

If you do not submit these items with the form, the credit bureau will typically mail you a letter requesting them. This can make the process of obtaining your credit report take months.

When all of the necessary information is submitted to the credit bureaus together, you should receive your reports within two to four weeks.

What to Do If You Can't Access Your Online Credit Report

Here are a few quick tips for making the process of obtaining your online credit reports a painless experience.

  • If you have an old copy of your credit report, review it prior to requesting the new report. You can look at old addresses, older accounts, dates accounts were opened and more to help you answer questions more confidently.
  • If you have auto loans or home loans, keep your statements handy. These types of accounts are likely to show up in the questions.
  • If you have moved within the last two years, fill in the section of the questionnaire requesting your previous address.

Credit Report Troubleshooting With The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If you have tried to obtain your credit reports online and via the mail and are still unsuccessful, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They may be able to contact the credit bureau and speed up the process for you. They also collect information about the credit bureaus and work with them to make the process of obtaining our credit reports simpler.

Credit Counseling Services Through American Financial Solutions

Contact American Financial Solutions for more information and learn how they can help you with their credit counseling services.

Published Apr 10, 2017.