Why your report number may be “invalid”

Dear Experian,

I received a report number, but when I put it in it says it’s invalid. Why?



Dear MCK,

There are a couple of reasons that are usually the cause for an “invalid report number” notice.

The first reason may be that the report number is from a lender’s version of the report rather than your personal credit report disclosure. If you have had adverse action taken, for example a credit application having been declined, you should be given instructions by the lender on how to obtain a free copy of your personal credit report from the credit reporting company that was used in making that decision.

You must use the number from the personal report you obtain directly, rather than getting a report number from your lender. Obtaining your personal report ensures you have the most recent information in an easy to read and understand format. It also means you have the same information our representatives are looking at when you contact them, enabling them to provide more efficient and effective service.

If you have had adverse action taken recently and did not receive instructions on how to obtain a copy of your personal report, you can request it at www.experian.com/reportaccess. Simply follow the instructions and provide the information requested under “adverse action.”

Another common issue is that the personal credit report is out of date. Your credit report is updated continuously as your lenders provide new account information. After 60 days, the information in your personal report may be very different than when you received it.

For that reason, your personal report number expires after 60 days. If you do not request assistance within that period of time you will need to request a new report, which will provide you with a new report number.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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