US Credit Report – Miscellaneous – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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US Credit Report

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Topic starter
(@kheckman)
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Joined: 1 year ago

I'm looking for advice for a friend who moved to Portugal. She takes her data privacy very seriously, so she's not even on facebook. She would like to get a copy of her credit report, but doesn't trust the website. There's a form you can mail in to get a hard copy, but it only allows for US addresses, which she does not have. Calling the number provided by the IRS has no options for talking to a human being and is just an option tree. Any suggestions for how a US citizen living abroad can get a printed copy of their credit report?

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Posts: 26
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(@awarrenlove)
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Joined: 2 years ago

US credit is not managed by the IRS. It is managed by the three large private companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are federally mandated to provide one report per year per person each, only available through https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action. If you don't want to use that website to request your free one, you will have to contact each company to purchase your report from them, which may be possible through the mail.

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Community Member
(@awarrenlove)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 26

Also keep in mind each company maintains their own records, so to get your full credit profile you need to request from each one. There is no single credit report in the US.

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Community Member
(@kheckman)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 2

@awarrenlove As I said, she's taking her privacy very seriously. We are aware of that website (I use it) but she doesn't want to put personal information into "an anonymous website".

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Premium Member
(@jeanne)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 357

@awarrenlove. I also take my privacy seriously, but why would she not trust the websites? Paper is also not 100% secure...that's why people shred documents. 

The actual 'risk' when it comes to credit reports is that a 3P could hijack her credit ID, so your friend SHOULD log in through a VPN and put a freeze on her account at each of the big credit agencies. That can help prevent 3Ps from doing anything untoward with her data, such as opening a credit card using her name.  That is the real security risk, not the paper versus digital.

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Posts: 26
Community Member
(@awarrenlove)
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Joined: 2 years ago

It looks like you can request by mail, but ultimately you're still making the request to the same service that runs the website. https://www.annualcreditreport.com/gettingReports.action

That website is run by the credit bureaus themselves, so it's hardly an anonymous website. There's nothing you can give them through that request they don't already have.

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