Why Your Credit Report May Not Be Available Online

←Previous Tips for Getting a Credit Report When you Hit a Road Block Write to AnnualCredit and request a report. TransUnion’s Emery suggests you call his company hotline directly. You’re likely to get a real person instead of recording device. TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800.

At Equifax, Meredith Griffanti says they try to get the reports out quickly. “After we receive the appropriate documents and confirm the consumer’s identity, then we send them their hard copy report through the mail. Again, this is simply for the sake of identity protection and security.

David Emery says the credit bureaus want to provide the reports. “For some reason people believe we are trying to make it difficult to get a credit report.” That’s not so he says, adding, “For most people it is seamless.” Go to Page 1  2  3

Worried about the EquifaxBreach? Read: What Do I Do About The Equifax Data Hack?

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.

14 thoughts on “Why Your Credit Report May Not Be Available Online”

  1. Hello, I also had problems with getting my score. I tried applying with credit karma first to see my credit score and i was unable to and was forwarded to get a credit report first… I guess this might make sense since I have not had a personal credit card but I am only authorized to use my husband’s. So I tried and they kept telling me they could not verify my identity and they logged me off. Ok, so I read this article and many more about how to get the report and why I cannot, and I came across the hotline number for trans union and I called to ask. The first question the lady had was what is my SSN? I apologize if I sound narrow minded but that seemed very odd. I asked why she needs that information first and she said to get into the system and find my credit report. … So i guess she has convinced me and i gave her my SSN and address and full name and she said she sees the report and it might be a fee for her to send it to me. She said she will check, and she put me on hold. Afterwards she said there is no fee, and she will mail the report on the address i have just provided. I hope I was not scammed, but I feel a little worried giving her all my personal info.

    1. That’s the way to do it. You don’t need to pay a fee for a credit report., or TransUnion, Equifax or Experian are required to provide you a free credit report. Between the three credit bureaus you can get a free credit report three times a year.
      If call and ask TransUnion for your credit report, they will ask you for your Social Security number. There should be no fee.

  2. I call BS!
    Making the report unavailable through just is a way to push the sheep towards being forced to pay for one.

    1. You don’t need to pay a fee for a credit report., or TransUnion, Equifax or Experian are required to provide you with a free credit report. Between the three credit bureaus you can get a free credit report three times a year. If you can’t get one online request one. But do not pay a fee.

  3. I have made numerous call to TU trying to figure out why I am unable to file a dispute, add/remove a credit freeze, or get my free annual credit report online. I finally was told that it was because I failed authentication. I don’t believe it. Why? ….because I try to order my free annual report or enter a dispute online I am not able to but if I pay a monthly fee to TU for my report & score I can see it online? This makes no sense. If I fail authentication for the free report or to enter a dispute then I should fail it when I pay a monthly fee. Also, I can access my report through Credit Karma but I am unable to file a dispute online (which when I try to enter a dispute never even takes me to the authentication page) …I just get a message that I must call customer service. How about asking Mr Emery why there seems to be no department within TU that can help someone resolve this? I’ve been told by customer service that I must call the dispute department, the dispute department tells me to contact TU Interactive, they tell me I need to call the fraud department, and I just keep going round and round. How can I get some resolution? ….and please remember I’m being told it’s because I’m failing authentication but when I try to dispute I never get to an authentication page. So how can I fail authentication if I’m never given the questions to authenticate?

  4. Tired on-line with Experian and TransUnion. Both said they could not find the information. I know my social security number, birthday and address. I have lived at the same address for 40 years. No explanation given by the agencies. The toll free number simply asks the same questions. Equifax had no trouble finding me on-line last February. Doesn’t seem like they are trying to release credit reports. just making us jump through more hoops.

  5. I am having the same problem as other respondents (6/28-6/29 2015), but only with Equifax, I got my free reports both from TransUnion and Experian. The “security” questions were the same so it dow not make any sense why Equifax is so difficult.

  6. What about those of us who do not meet any of the red-flag criteria you mentioned? I have been able to receive my credit reports several times over the year online without hassle. Suddenly, now I am unable to do so, from any of the Big3? I understand they want to make it more difficult for identity thieves; however, when you are also making it difficult for the average consumer, it is a problem. I do not wish to send sensitive information through the mail just to get a credit report. Isn’t that why we have technology now?

    1. Ditto Nicole’s comment. My credit history is over 35 years long, with absolutely no changes in the last decade in terms of loans or credit/debit cards, or anything related. I had been receiving credit reports online for several years, when all of a sudden, a couple years ago, at least two of the Big3 started requiring me to send personal identifying data through the U.S. mail system in order to get a copy of my free report. It’s ludicrous that they claim this is helping to ‘protect’ me. In my submissions I have requested an explanation of WHY they are requiring me to write in, but they will not answer me. And of course calling their phone numbers to get anything other than a canned response is a complete and total waste of your life.

      I have searched online, but none of the articles I find do any good. They all cite ‘flags’ that have absolutely zero relevance in my case.

      1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

        Regardless of the reason why you were unable to access your report online, and although they have opted to provide a means for us to obtain these copies online,this was their choice, not because they have to, but because they want to.

        What you might not realize is that it is more cost effective to just allow you access to your report online, Becasue to have you do the alternative, and assuming you do submit amail-in request for your copy of your report, in response, they would then have to have it processed by someone to search for the correct report (payroll costs), then they would have to print you a hard copy of the report (equipment and supplies costs), then have to mail it to you (postage and other costs) all while they have not asked you for a single red cent to provide you with you report.

        If that does not convince you that they are merely doing it for your own protection, and only when the information you entered is inconsistent with what they have on file, or when your information is part of an old report (that has had little to no activity, and has had no recent updates on it from any source, then I don’t know what else to offer to try and convince you.

        Good luck!

    2. The legal requirement is that each of the three credit bureaus must provide you with one free copy of the credit file they have on you. This does not guarantee you access for the entire year or part of the year.

      So I am not sure how you are able to bypass their restriction that would prohibit you from (as you stated): “[being] able to receive [your] credit reports several times over the year online without hassle”!

      You are allowed access to the one free credit report you obtained for 30 days after the date it was compiled and transmitted to you (assuming you registered with the particular credit bureau which provided that report. Meaning you are given a copy of the report, you need to print it and refer back to your hard copy if the need arises. If you find any errors and you file a dispute, you can access it for longer than 30 days but even then, it is not throughout the entire year.

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