Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time -.
Key Points & Highlights
- It’s relatively simple to reach humans, not robots, at all three major credit bureaus.
- There are some effective techniques that will get you to a human being faster, like calling during non-peak hours.
- Some of the bureaus are easier to deal with than others.
- Be ready to reveal lots of personal, identifying data when you call. It’s better to address problems, errors, and fraud issues via a live person at a bureau than to do so via an online chat service or through email.
Do you need to speak with someone at one of the major credit bureaus to clear up an error, report a change in your basic info, or resolve another kind of question? If so, don’t be discouraged because it’s not difficult to get through to a helpful person at Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax.
In fact, compared to most corporations and government agencies, it’s much easier to connect with a person at a credit bureau. Don’t expect your call to be answered on the first ring. Note that most routes to human beings go through robotic call-answering systems.
Most likely, your call will first be picked up by an automated screening program that will ask you for basic information. Then, you’ll be prompted to enter a specific number to connect with a “live agent” or customer-service person.
In all, the process takes just a few minutes, but once the final customer-service line begins to ring, you might have to wait an additional amount of time, based on call volume. Here’s what you need to know before calling.
- Key Points & Highlights
- Why Call A Human At A Credit Bureau?
- What to Expect When You Call TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax
- What Kinds of Documents to Have On Hand
- Don’t be Discouraged
Why Call A Human At A Credit Bureau?
If you have experienced a “credit freeze,” have a dispute of any kind, been the victim of credit fraud, or suspect that your account has been compromised by identity theft, you’ll want to call a person at the credit bureaus to resolve the issue. Others call to find out how to get free reports, ask general questions about improving their credit, and for other purposes.
What to Expect When You Call TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax
All three bureaus use automated systems to screen calls. That’s because about 90 percent of callers simply want to order a copy of their free annual credit report, which the bureaus are legally required to give you.
Listen carefully to the recording. It will offer a short menu of services. Some are a bit ambiguous (see specific bureaus below), but within about two minutes, you should be able to ring the phone of a live human being. After that, you might be asked if you want a callback and assured that you “… won’t lose your place in line.”
Finally, once you are speaking with a human being, be ready to answer several security questions before the conversation begins in earnest.
What Kinds of Documents to Have On Hand
It’s not so much about documents as information. Have your account number for the bureau ready if you know it. Also, have the following data: social security number, correct address, date of birth, place of employment, and other relevant, personal data.
The first number you should call is 1-714-830-7000. Don’t use the published customer service number you see in ads, which is 1-888-EXPERIAN. When the robot recording asks you to enter a number, press 2 to get to a human. Experian’s hours are Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Central Time.
Listen to the recorded voice prompts and answer them. If the robot asks you to enter a specific number, enter 0. You’ll be routed automatically to a human agent. The number is 1-800-916-8800, and operating hours are Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. until midnight Eastern Time, and Friday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
Call 1-866-640-2273 to reach a human being at Equifax, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturdays and Sundays, hours are from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Eastern Time. For English, press 1, then listen to the promotional and informational dialogue, and press 4 to go directly to a live human agent.
This common myth won’t go away. The answer is “No. Contacting a bureau with a question of any kind will have zero effect on your credit scores. However, keep in mind that if you do get errors corrected as a result of your inquiry, it’s possible that your scores will change. But that’s related to error correction, not the fact that you called one of the bureaus.
People call the three credit bureaus with all sorts of inquiries. Some of the most common questions are about possible mistakes on your reports, how to update basic information like name and address changes, and how to get free reports sent to you.
There are several techniques you can use to get through to a human being more quickly. First, call very early in the day, preferably during the first half-hour that the bureau accepts calls (see their hours above). Also, use multiple phones and call all three bureaus at the same time. Deal with the one that answers your call first and disconnect the other two. Finally, put all three main phone numbers on your speed-dial list so you can repeatedly call them whenever you wish.
TransUnion is the fastest, with an average one-minute wait time, during non-peak hours, to reach a human. Experian is a close second place with an average two-minute wait time. Equifax is in third place for speed, with an average wait time of four minutes to get through to a living, breathing person.
Don’t be Discouraged
It’s not hard to connect with a human being at any of the three major credit bureaus. You merely need to know the numbers, their operating hours, and the best times to call. Expect to wait a few minutes before getting through to a live human, and be ready to identify yourself for security purposes.