Help me access my credit.
July 27, 2015 11:23 AM   Subscribe

For some reason, it seems like I'm locked out when trying to access my free credit reports at I don't see a way to contact them. More inside the fold.

So, in June, I lost my driver's license somewhere in California while on a trip. Oops. Went to the California DMV, got a replacement one, so that worked out. However, I wanted to both utilize my free credit report, and make sure nobody tried to steal my identity with my lost driver's license.

When going to (let's call it for short) and entering my information (which I double-checked was accurate, btw) then picking any of the three credit unions for the free report, I was told that they were unable to access it because of mismatching information, or simply because the information wasn't available (the error messages occurred when 'transferred' me to the respective credit union's websites). This is very odd, because I used this same website last year without a problem.

I called TransUnion (which I like the best and have an account with - didn't use it for a while, but had a free trial last year), and one representative said that there were "split/multiple" files on my report, and to call the Disputes department. I did so, and another representative said my file was fine; that there weren't split files. I explained the situation to him (not being able to access my report from, and he agreed to send me a printed/mailed copy of my credit report for free (which he said I'd receive in 5-7 business days). Both representatives were located overseas - definitely not trying to come across as xenophobic or anything, but I have a hard time trusting oversea call center representatives sometimes.

When trying to call with the phone number TransUnion and their website provided, I was unable to get in touch with someone - there was no live representative option at all (pressing 0 yielded no results; waiting until the automated machine finished speaking just resulted in a loop) so I don't see a way to clear this up with ACR. I'm not sure if this is some kind of glitch, or something wrong with my record.

I'm stressed and anxious that my credit/identity was compromised by someone who had taken my lost driver's license, or that there's something wrong with my credit information in general. I'm not sure where to turn to, and what to do to get this resolved immediately. I could wait until the credit report comes in the mail in 5-7 days (if it even does), but I don't know if I can trust what the representative said, given the conflicting information I got from two TransUnion representatives.

Sorry if this was at all confusing; if you need any clarification, please ask. I just want peace of mind. Added information: I'm deaf, so calling/being called is a bit more harder/complex, but possible thanks to videophones/text relay.

Many thanks!
posted by dubious_dude to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you need to access a report right away, try accessing it for a fee. Go directly to experian's site (for example) and pay for a score/report there and see if that works. This won't resolve your ACR problem and of course it's not free, but at least you will be able to see your report and check it for anything unusual.

One caveat: you can easily accidentally subscribe to a credit monitoring service going this route, so make sure it's a one-time charge for a one-time report.
posted by kapers at 12:08 PM on July 27, 2015

Oh, and if you file a fraud alert on any of the three sites, all three reporting agencies will put on the alert. If you have an active fraud alert, nobody can get credit in your name without verifying their identity. I'd do that immediately after obtaining the report so you don't have a harder time accessing it.
posted by kapers at 12:16 PM on July 27, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks, kapers. However, I really am concerned about the ACR issue and would like to get it resolved. How do I do that? I can't find a way to contact them.

How about TransUnion? I was told I would get a printed credit report within 5-7 days, but I'm not able to view it on my account at Called, and they said the only way was to access, so... kind of caught in some kind of loop here.

This is a real headache, and I would really appreciate some help with this in navigating. I don't want to pay for a credit report, as I am legally entitled to a free report once per year.

posted by dubious_dude at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2015

Best answer: Credit Karma actually gives you free access to 2 different credit reports (Transunion & Equifax), with no strings attached. (you don't have to sign up for any paid services or provide a credit card #). Perhaps give that a try to see if you can view your reports?
posted by dcjd at 12:35 PM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Would trying a new browser help? It sounds like you're getting a specific error message about having wrong info, but due to my Firefox extensions (I assume), I could not get my credit report to show up on I think I even had trouble in Chrome and had to use (shudder) Internet Explorer. Worth a shot, I suppose.

It looks like you can also request a free physical copy of your report in writing here: if you're having trouble online. There is contact info there as well.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:37 PM on July 27, 2015

If your priority is accessing your free reports through ACR, you would have to contact each agency as you did Transunion, explain the issue, verify your identity, and they will probably mail you the reports.

If your priority is checking your report for possible fraud, I would just pay for a report and score, or find an alternate source of free reports.

ACR messed up for me before, years ago, and I would swear I entered all the info correctly. I think sometimes it just glitches; I figured mine was a browser/cookie issue but of course I don't know for sure. Once you're in the system of having accessed the reports online this year, I don't believe it's possible to go that route again.
posted by kapers at 12:41 PM on July 27, 2015

Response by poster: Wow, thank you for all the help.

I was able to sign up for CreditKarma just fine, and now can see my credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax. Looks like I'm all good to go in terms of identity theft! Thank goodness. This is a relief.

@AppleTurnover, I was using Firefox on Mac with AdBlock Plus. Perhaps that was the culprit?

Looks like ACR isn't all it's cracked up to be, anyway. Sucks if you can't even get an actual live person.

Finally, any recommendations for a good, cheap tracking tool I can use to prevent identity theft?
posted by dubious_dude at 12:46 PM on July 27, 2015 used to work for me for years for two of the three services.. And then, one day I went in to check, and it didn't work at all for any of them.
posted by eas98 at 1:50 PM on July 27, 2015

Nthing that things have been weird at for me this year, too: I requested one of the reports at the start of the year, then, four months later when I tried to request another report from the other service it said that I'd done all of them for the year, then when I tried again it said it had some error and I'd have to request a copy via mail.
posted by TwoStride at 2:13 PM on July 27, 2015

The link I provided has phone numbers for each of the credit agencies, and a phone number for
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:52 PM on July 27, 2015

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