How do I dispute my credit report from overseas via online?
December 7, 2008 4:58 AM   Subscribe

URGENT: How do I dispute my credit report? Difficulty: no (current) American address or phone number, and not currently in the USA.

Background: Twentysomething English teacher in Seoul, South Korea. American citizen, but I've been in South Korea for 8 1/2 months.

Earlier today I decided to check out my credit report from annualcreditreport.com on a whim. I noticed SEVERAL credit lines I couldn't possibly have opened, what with being in South Korea and all. These have apparently progressed to the point where they are being 90 days past due or charged-off. I did not open these accounts, to say the least, and am certain I'll be looked at rather skeptically by some. I'm in South Korea, though - 7,000 miles away.

I should note that I experienced some fraudulent activity with my bank's debit card back in April and May. Through a lot of work with the bank (and more than a few expensive phone calls), we were able to cancel the old card, reverse the charges, and get a new debit card (where it's sat unused in a file cabinet for the last several months). I assumed that was the end of it... until now.. Through the credit report I have the names, addresses, and some phone numbers who I supposedly have accounts with. I have account numbers of accounts I don't have.

Is there a website where one can dispute AND MONITOR PROGRESS issues on their credit report online? So far I've researched csccredit.com (affiliated with equifax), but they can only send a report via mail to an American address. I *highly prefer* online (if worst comes to worst I'll have the report sent to my parents - a slow and highly inefficient process, at best).

I return to the states in about 3 1/2 months - and from the horror stories I've heard online, it may take every day of that to get back to good. Help, please.
posted by chrisinseoul to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Give MyFICO.com a try. They have something called Score Watch which monitors your credit score and lets you know if there are any sudden shifts in your score. You will have to pay a monthly fee (around ~$7USD) but I think it's well worth it. Also, you will be able to dispute credit marks on your report that you think should not be there. Give them a look and best of luck.
posted by aloneinvietnam at 5:18 AM on December 7, 2008


If you don't mind the side question, did you find some trick to using annualcreditreport.com from outside the US? I've found it to be unavailable to non-US ISPs...

This might not be an ideal solution for you, but last time I discovered an inaccuracy on my credit report here's what I did: I contacted (by snail-mail) the company that reported the inaccuracy, and they corrected it by fixing my report. While the offline activity took place over the span of a couple months, I monitored my credit report online using Equifax's service, which is not free. In my case, the problem was simply a mistake, not fraud; your situation may be more complicated.
posted by blue mustard at 6:29 AM on December 7, 2008


After spending a couple hours on annualcreditreport.com, it seems that there's no trick involved... It's definitely fraud, since I've not applied for ANY new credit in the 8 1/2 months I've been in Korea.
posted by chrisinseoul at 6:51 AM on December 7, 2008


I subscribe to Truecredit which monitors my credit through all three of the credit reporting agencies. You get alerts when things are added (but not fixed). With it, you can pull all three reports once a day and see if there's any changes.

I've only disputed items online. If the error is on one, it will probably be on the others. Equifax is odd as it is really a collection of regional bureaus, but many disputes can be filed online which I did. After their investigation, they did mail me a paper copy of the fixed report. However, I knew of the changes much earlier because I could check my Equifax report on truecredit and found the mistake gone.
posted by birdherder at 6:52 AM on December 7, 2008


@blue mustard: Those of us abroad who use secure proxies for work or other means aren't blocked from websites like annualcreditreport.com and hulu.com. So, he may be behind a proxy. If not, then that is weird because when I tried to access annualcreditreport.com from a Vietnamese IP address, I was told that IPs outside of the US were not allowed to use the service.
posted by aloneinvietnam at 7:18 AM on December 7, 2008


@blue mustard: I've had zero problems accessing annualcreditreport.com from Korea. They might have a list of specific IP addresses they're blocking, and yours might be one of them for whatever reason. In any case, a secure proxy is a good workaround - I haven't yet needed to go there though.
posted by chrisinseoul at 8:50 PM on December 7, 2008


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