Experian Connect

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

 

Getting Started

Registration

Authentication

Purchasing a Credit Report

Credit Reports

Credit Scores

Connections and Invitations

Showing Your Credit Information

Ask Someone to See Their Credit Report

Viewing Other People’s Credit Information

Email Messages and Notifications

Troubleshooting

 

 

 

Getting Started

 

How can I use this service for my own, personal credit information needs?

The Experian ConnectSM service will allow you to view your own personal credit information and then show it, directly from Experian, to people you have connected with through our site. This provides a faster and more secure way to grant access to your credit report and score, rather than faxing or mailing it. To get started, please visit your home page and mouse over the “Get My Credit Report” option at the top-left of the page.

How can I use this service as a small business?

The Experian ConnectSM service will allow you to request and view the credit information of other people, who give you permission, for a specific purpose. Our site can support a number of industries -- perhaps you are a landlord evaluating a prospective tenant or a contractor who needs to setup the payment schedule. When you view a credit report and score through Experian ConnectSM, you can be sure you are seeing the information directly from the credit bureau. To get started, please visit your home page and mouse over the “Ask to See a Credit Report” option at the top-left of the page.

Can I use this service for both personal and business use?

Yes. In fact, if you are a small or independent business, it is important to know your personal credit information, too.

 

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Registration

What do I get with a registered account on Experian ConnectSM?

As a registered user of Experian ConnectSM, you will be able to access tools and features provided by Experian.  This includes the option to purchase your Experian Credit Report and VantageScore® as well as the ability to show or ask for credit information with connections you trust.

How much does it cost to register?

There is no cost to register and create an account in order to preview the site.  You will be able to access certain features; however, other features may require a purchase. For example, you must purchase a copy of your Experian Credit Report and VantageScore® in order to share your credit information with your connections. If you want to use a feature which requires a purchase, you will have the opportunity to decide if you want to continue or not before any purchase is made.

What do you do with my private information?

We take privacy and security very seriously. When we request personal information from you, it is to provide you with safe and secure access to features on Experian ConnectSM, such as ordering your credit report. Under no circumstances will we resell or provide your personal information to any third-party marketers. If you contact Customer Support, they do not see your credit report unless you give them specific permission to do so. Please see our Privacy Policy for full details about how we protect the information you submit to us.

How do I close my account?

To close your account, please click here.

 

Authentication

What does it mean when it says I need to be or have been authenticated?

Certain features on the site require you to verify your identity by answering questions based on your personal credit information; this process is called “authentication”. We take this step to help reduce fraud and misuse of the service.

How does the authentication process work?

Experian uses the information you provide about yourself to ask you questions based on your credit report. In order to be authenticated, you have to successfully answer these questions. If you are unable to answer all the questions successfully, you should gather the necessary documents and information needed before you try again.

Do I have to be authenticated to get my own credit report or to connect with other people through Experian ConnectSM?

Yes. This step is required initially and periodically thereafter when you are requesting your own credit report or interacting with other people in the Experian ConnectSM community.

 

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Purchasing a Credit Report

Will purchasing my credit report hurt my credit score?

No, it won't. When you order your own credit report, it's called a "soft inquiry". Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and do not appear on any credit reports viewed by other people.

How long is my credit report and credit score available for viewing with this service?

To protect your privacy, we keep copies of your credit report and score for 30 days only. If you need to keep a copy of your credit report for longer than 30 days, then you should print out your report. If you do print your report, you should be sure to store it in a safe place.

Can I get an updated copy of my credit report and score after I purchase?

Although you cannot directly request an updated copy right now, your Experian Credit Report and VantageScore® will be updated whenever a connection, who you gave permission to, views your report for the first time.  For more information please see this additional information.

Are my credit card transactions safe?

Yes, the process of sending and receiving your information is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This technology ensures that your credit card and other sensitive information are protected. Preferred web browsers are Internet Explorer 6.0+, FireFox 2.0+, and Safari 3.0+.

Do I have to pay sales tax?

That depends on the state in which you reside. Certain orders may be subject to sales tax based on specific laws in your state of residence. The address you provided during the authentication process is used to determine whether sales tax applies to your order(s) and if so, at what rate. Since sales tax rates may change over time, you might notice minor fluctuations in the final price.

Keeping your address up-to-date in our system will help ensure the sales tax is calculated accurately. You can easily update your address information anytime from the My Account page.

I don't have a credit card. Can I still purchase a credit report and score with this service?

Currently, we only accept credit card payments. Our service is not setup to accept checks or cash at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Can I purchase another person’s credit report using my registered account?

No. You may purchase only your own report for use with your Experian ConnectSM account. Please be sure to review the legal terms and conditions for use of this site regarding obtaining credit reports on another person. However, if you are wondering how other people could allow you to access their report, please review the information on asking to see a report.

Is this where I get my free annual credit report?

No, that is a different site called AnnualCreditReport.com.

How can I find out more about my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to receive a free copy of your consumer file disclosure once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. To request your free annual report under that law, you must go to www.Annualcreditreport.Com. You are also entitled to a copy of your consumer file disclosure from Experian free of charge under certain circumstances, such as, if you were denied credit in the past 60 days, are a recipient of public welfare assistance, or are a victim of fraud or unemployed. You can also purchase a consumer file disclosure from Experian for a reasonable fee. You have the right to have trained personnel explain any information in your consumer file disclosure. You have a right to purchase a consumer credit score directly from Experian. You have the right to dispute inaccurate information in your consumer file disclosure without charge. You may have additional rights under applicable state laws. Please contact Experian's National Consumer Assistance Center at www.experian.com or 888-397-3742 for assistance.

 

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Credit Reports

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a snapshot of your experience with credit-related accounts. Aside from some basic personal information, like your name and address to help identify your report, there are three main types of information on your credit report:

●     Public Records: Court-related information, including bankruptcies, state and county court records, tax liens, monetary judgments and, in some states, overdue child support payments.

●     Credit Inquiries: Names of businesses or individuals that have obtained a copy of your credit report, including lenders, landlords, and employers.

●     Accounts: Payment history on all your Real Estate, Installment, and Revolving Credit Accounts.

Why does this report look different than other reports I have received from Experian?

A credit report may contain different types of information depending on the source of the report and the purpose for which it is requested. In many cases, the information in the report may be the same, but the layout and format may be different. However, a credit report from this service will NOT show an individual’s Social Security Number, date of birth, and the account numbers corresponding to their financial accounts. We do this to help prevent fraud and misuse. If you need to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report and require this information, you can follow the links to learn more about disputing inaccuracies.

Can I get my credit report from other bureaus through your site?

No. At this time, Experian ConnectSM is only offering access to your Experian credit report.

What should I do if there's a mistake on my credit report?

For more information on filing disputes, please visit the Experian Online Dispute site.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). For a summary of your major rights under the FCRA, click here or for more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.ftc.gov/credit.

 

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Credit Scores

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a number based on the information in your credit report. It is similar to a grade you would have received in school, but instead of right and wrong answers, your credit score is based on positive and negative credit history. Paying your bills on time and using your credit responsibly builds a positive history while paying bills late and being irresponsible with your credit builds a negative history.

There are many different ways to calculate a credit score. Experian ConnectSM uses the VantageScore® calculation with your Experian credit report. VantageScore® was developed by the three national credit reporting companies — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Unlike other scoring systems, it is the most consistent score using only one model with one set of scoring calculations, resulting in scores that are more uniform and consistent.

Which bureau's credit report is my credit score based on?

Although the VantageScore® calculation was developed by the three national credit reporting companies, the score you receive from Experian ConnectSM is based only on your Experian credit report.

Why is this score different from the one I got somewhere else?

It is a common credit myth that there is only one way to calculate a credit score. Many lenders use their own customized calculations. All three bureaus offer different calculations, and there are multiple score calculations. There are estimates that say there are over 1,000 different credit scores in use. For more information about different score models, we recommend that you read this article on Experian.com.

Why is my credit score different from the three different bureaus?

The three national credit bureaus do not share information with one another. This means that, if your creditor only sends information to one or two of the credit bureaus or only pulls an inquiry from one bureau, the activity won't appear on all three reports. The three bureaus also have different formats for the way they collect and store data, so information for the same account may appear differently from one credit report to another. This is why scores are sometimes different from one bureau to another.

How do I improve my credit score?

While we offer a great deal of credit education throughout the website, we are unable to provide any direct advice on how someone could improve their credit.

 

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Connections and Invitations

What does it mean to create a “Connection” on Experian ConnectSM?

In order to interact with someone else through this service, you first must go through a three-step invitation process. This invitation process allows both parties to confirm they know and trust each other before sharing important information, such as a credit report. Successfully completing the invitation process creates a link between the two accounts, and each party is now a “Connection” to the other.

If I create a Connection with someone, does that mean the other person can see my credit information?

No. Creating a Connection does not mean that you are showing your credit information. There’s a different step for that, which you can learn more about here.

What are the three steps to create a Connection?

Invite - An invitation is sent from one person to another

Accept - The recipient of an invitation agrees to be connected to the person who sent the invitation

Confirm - The person who sent the invitation agrees to be connected to the person who receives the invitation

What happens when I send an invitation to connect?

When you send an invitation to connect to someone, an email is sent from Experian ConnectSM to the name and email address you provided to us. If you also added a custom message, we will include that in the email as well as your Connections page. It’s important to remember that you only should invite people who you know and trust. Before someone can accept your invitation, they will need to either sign in to their existing account or create a new account and verify their identity.

I received an invitation to connect. What do I do now?

You should view the invitation first to make sure it came from someone who you know and trust before you accept it. You can find the invitation on your Connections page and view the profile of the person who sent it by simply clicking on their name. The name on that person’s profile page is the name which they provided to Experian when they completed the authentication process.

Why do I have to “confirm” an invitation that’s already been accepted if I’m the one who sent the invitation in the first place?

We use this extra step to help protect you from fraud and to make sure you are certain that you are connecting to people who you know and trust. When you send an invitation to someone, they are able to see your registered name, which you verified during the authentication step. However, you will see the other person’s registered name only after they accepted your invitation. Consequently, this is our way of asking you to be sure that the person who accepted your invitation is the person with whom you meant to connect.

Can I cancel an invitation that I already sent?

Yes. You can always cancel an invitation you sent by using the “Cancel”. Once the invitation is confirmed, you will need to Delete the Connection instead.

Can I delete a Connection with someone?

Yes. You can always delete a Connection that you previously made by using the “Delete” action when you view that Connection’s profile. Please keep in mind that when you delete, any information and history that was shared between you and that Connection is deleted as well.

 

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Showing Your Credit Information

What happens when I use the “show my credit report” feature?

The “show my credit report” feature gives you the ability to show your credit report and score to one of your Connections directly through Experian ConnectSM. This replaces slower and potentially less secure methods, such as mail, fax, and email. In order to show your report, you must select an existing Connection and a purpose for showing your report. This is an important step since showing your credit information is allowed only for the purposes listed in this service. After you have provided this information and confirmed it, a notification will be sent to the Connection to whom you want to show your report.  This notification will let them know that you have given them your permission to view your credit information.

If I show my credit report to my Connections will it hurt my credit score?

No. When you show your credit report and score to your Connections it does not affect your score because it is what we call a “soft inquiry.”  Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and do not appear on any credit reports viewed by other people.

When I try to show my report to a connection, it asks me to select a purpose. What do these mean?

Although we want people to be able to show their credit information to their Connections when they need to, it is important to show your report only for specific purposes which the law permits and as permitted through Experian ConnectSM. To make it easy for you, we have created a list of acceptable purposes for Experian ConnectSM. When we ask you to select a purpose, you should choose the one that best describes the type of transaction for which you need to show or use the credit information.

Below you will find a list of these acceptable purposes, some examples, and the FCRA permissible purpose under which it they are covered:

  • Renting/Leasing Property - Landlords, property managers, leasing agents, real estate agents and brokers, other renting agents (Legitimate Business Need)
  • Contractor Evaluation - General contractor work, painting, plumbing, roofing, electrical, landscaping and garden, other home improvement work (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Auto Financing – Financing of a car or other vehicle (Extension of Credit)
  • Medical Financing – Financing of doctor and clinical procedures, plastic surgery, dental procedures, vision correction surgery, veterinary costs, other medical and healthcare procedures (Extension of Credit)
  • Professional Services Financing – Financing of personal services for accountants, appraisers, architects, attorneys, engineers, business consultants, and other professional service providers (Extension of Credit)
  • Financial Planning and Tax Advice - Investment consultations, tax and financial planning with a CPA, audit defense and bookkeeping services, financial advisor meetings (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Legal Advice - Bankruptcy filings, family law attorney consultations, other legal services (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Advice from Family - College students asking for advice from parents; credit advice between husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Evaluating Financial Status - Use of credit report information to understand or review a person’s credit history as an indication of responsibility or status, but not for use in employment decisions or extensions of credit (Consumer’s Written Consent)

If none of these purposes describe your needs accurately, please let us know by contacting customer support.

How long can the Connection view my credit information after I have given them permission?

When you show your report to your Connection, they are allowed to access and view your credit report and score for as long as the days remaining since your last purchase. For example, if you purchased your credit report and score 10 days ago, then you will have 20 days remaining to view your own report. If you show your report to your Connection today, then your Connection will be able to view the report only for the next 20 days as well.

Can I stop showing my report to a Connection?

Yes, you can stop showing your report to a Connection at any time. If you want to stop showing your report, simply click on “stop sharing,” and that Connection will no longer be able to see your credit report and score.

Why does my credit report and score get updated after I have showed it to a Connection?

To make sure that your Connections get your most current credit information, we provide them with your credit report and score based on the day and time they first view your report. We know that it is important for you to see the same information, so we automatically refresh your view of your own report and score. This ensures that you and your Connection are looking at the same information.

 

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Ask Someone to See Their Credit Report

What happens when I use the “Ask to See a Credit Report” feature?

Experian ConnectSM allows people to view and subsequently show their own Experian Credit Report and VantageScore® to their Connections. If you need to view the report of one of your Connections instead, you can use this feature to ask them if they are willing to show their report to you. Remember that you can’t ask just anyone for their report for any reason. You need to make sure that you are asking Connections who you know and have a specific, allowed purpose for its use. We will ask you to select a single purpose and to certify to this before you can continue.

Does asking my Connection to see their report hurt their credit score?

No. When you ask a Connection to see their credit report and score, they will need to agree to show it to you. Once they do, it will not affect their score because this type of action is what we call a “soft inquiry”. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and do not appear on any credit reports viewed by other people.

Whenever I ask a Connection to see their report, it asks me to select a purpose. What do these mean?

Although we want people to be able to ask to see the credit information of their Connections when they need to, it is important to ask to see reports only for specific purposes which the law permits and as permitted through Experian ConnectSM. To make it easy for you, we have created a list of acceptable purposes for Experian ConnectSM. When we ask you to select a purpose, you should choose the one that best describes the type of transaction for which you need to show or use the credit information.

Below you will find a list of these acceptable purposes, some examples, and the FCRA permissible purpose under which it they are covered:

  • Renting/Leasing Property - Landlords, property managers, leasing agents, real estate agents and brokers, other renting agents (Legitimate Business Need)
  • Contractor Evaluation - General contractor work, painting, plumbing, roofing, electrical, landscaping and garden, other home improvement work (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Auto Financing – Financing of a car or other vehicle (Extension of Credit)
  • Medical Financing – Financing of doctor and clinical procedures, plastic surgery, dental procedures, vision correction surgery, veterinary costs, other medical and healthcare procedures (Extension of Credit)
  • Professional Services Financing – Financing of personal services for accountants, appraisers, architects, attorneys, engineers, business consultants, and other professional service providers (Extension of Credit)
  • Financial Planning and Tax Advice - Investment consultations, tax and financial planning with a CPA, audit defense and bookkeeping services, financial advisor meetings (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Legal Advice - Bankruptcy filings, family law attorney consultations, other legal services (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Advice from Family - College students asking for advice from parents; credit advice between husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Evaluating Financial Status - Use of credit report information to understand or review a person’s credit history as an indication of responsibility or status, but not for use in employment decisions or extensions of credit (Consumer’s Written Consent)

 If none of these purposes describe your needs accurately, please let us know by contacting customer support.

 

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Viewing Other People’s Credit Information

If a connection is showing me their report, how long am I able to view their credit information?

You are able to view your Connection’s credit information either for as long as that Connection has days remaining to view their own purchased report or until the Connection chooses to stop showing you their report. In general, when an Experian Credit Report and VantageScore® are purchased, we provide access to the account for 30 days. For example, if your connection starts showing you their report 10 days after they purchased it, then you will have 20 days at most to view their credit information.

Will Experian ConnectSM store copies of all the credit reports I’ve previously viewed?

No. Experian ConnectSM is designed for registered users to authorize their Connections to see their credit report. It is not a record keeping service. If an individual either indicates they no longer wish to show their report to a Connection or chooses to delete the Connection altogether, the credit information in their profile is no longer visible to that Connection. If you need to see the credit information of one of your Connections again, you will need to ask them to show their credit report again.

A connection showed their credit information to me, but when I tried to view it for the first time I was asked to confirm my purpose. What does this mean?

Although we want connections to be able to show their credit information to their Connections when they need to, it is important to do so only for specific purposes which the law permits and as permitted through Experian ConnectSM. To make it easy for you, we have created a list of acceptable purposes for Experian ConnectSM. When we ask you to select a purpose, you should choose the one that best describes the type of transaction for which you need to view or use the credit information.

Below you will find a list of these acceptable purposes, some examples, and the FCRA permissible purpose under which it they are covered:

  • Renting/Leasing Property - Landlords, property managers, leasing agents, real estate agents and brokers, other renting agents (Legitimate Business Need)
  • Contractor Evaluation - General contractor work, painting, plumbing, roofing, electrical, landscaping and garden, other home improvement work (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Auto Financing – Financing of a car or other vehicle (Extension of Credit)
  • Medical Financing – Financing of doctor and clinical procedures, plastic surgery, dental procedures, vision correction surgery, veterinary costs, other medical and healthcare procedures (Extension of Credit)
  • Professional Services Financing – Financing of personal services for accountants, appraisers, architects, attorneys, engineers, business consultants, and other professional service providers (Extension of Credit)
  • Financial Planning and Tax Advice - Investment consultations, tax and financial planning with a CPA, audit defense and bookkeeping services, financial advisor meetings (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Legal Advice - Bankruptcy filings, family law attorney consultations, other legal services (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Advice from Family - College students asking for advice from parents; credit advice between husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister (Consumer’s Written Consent)
  • Evaluating Financial Status - Use of credit report information to understand or review a person’s credit history as an indication of responsibility or status, but not for use in employment decisions or extensions of credit (Consumer’s Written Consent)

If none of these purposes describe your needs accurately, please let us know by contacting customer support.

Do I have any responsibilities as an end user of consumer credit data?

Yes. When you are viewing the credit reports for which you have been given permission by your Connections, you are considered to be an end user of consumer credit data. For more information about this, please click here.

 

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Email Messages and Notifications

Why am I receiving emails and notifications from Experian ConnectSM?

Experian ConnectSM will occasionally notify you when there are changes to the service and new activity related to your account. These emails are delivered to the designated email address that you either specified during registration or indicated in your account settings.

Please make sure that you have added experianconnectdonotreply@experian.com to your address book so these important messages don't get blocked by your spam or junk mail filter.

What should I do when I get an email or notification?

That depends on what type of notification it is and whether or not you recognize the information in it. We recommend that you sign in to your Experian ConnectSM account to look for any additional instructions to help you determine your next steps.

 

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Troubleshooting

What if I forget my password or PIN?

If you forget your password or PIN, you will be able to reset them online. To reset your password, click on the Forgot Password link on the sign in page. To reset your PIN, click on the Forgot PIN link on the sign in page.

What do I do if my account is Disabled?

If your account becomes disabled, you will need to contact customer support to have it enabled again. Please note that if your account becomes disabled, you will need to provide our support team with details about what you were doing when you were disabled and, if due to unusual activity, the reason for your activity. Otherwise, we may not be able to enable your account.

I tried to authenticate, but I got an error message saying I am not able to do so at this time. What happened?

We take privacy and security very seriously. If you see this message it was because either the information you provided to us about yourself or the responses you provided during the authentication step were incorrect. You can retry this step after 72 hours. Please be sure to review or gather any documents you may need to help you complete this step before trying again.

Why can’t I change my Name or SSN after I authenticated?

Once you have authenticated, we need to make sure that your account cannot be used to represent another individual. This helps to reduce fraud and increase trust in the Experian ConnectSM community.

My order for a credit report and score didn't go through. What happened?

We are sorry that happened. Most orders process in just a few seconds, but for various reasons, some orders are not able to be completed right away. The two main reasons this happens are:

  • We are unable to confirm your identity. We take security and privacy very seriously, and we need to be certain you are who you say you are before we can present any sensitive information.
  • Experian does not have a complete report for you. This can happen for younger people who are still establishing their credit, for people who do not use credit very often, or for people who have spent years out of the country.

One of my Connections showed their credit information to me, and I used to be able to see their report and score when I viewed their profile, but now I don’t see it anymore. What happened?

Experian ConnectSM is designed for registered users to authorize their Connections to see their credit report. It is not a record keeping service. If a person either indicates that they no longer wish to show their report to a Connection or chooses to delete the Connection altogether, the credit information in their profile is no longer visible to that Connection. If you need to see the credit information of one of your Connections again, you will need to ask them to show their credit report again.

Why do some of the webpages look like they're not loading all the way, or have missing pieces?

Experian ConnectSM is designed to work best with the web browsers Internet Explorer 6.0+, FireFox 2.0+, and Safari 3.0+. Some functionality and features of the website require the use of Flash, Java, Javascript and Adobe Reader. These are all standard pieces of software that most websites require to work properly.

I don't remember receiving any emails or alerts. What happened?

If we show new activity or changes on the website, and you didn't receive an email, it is probably because your spam or junk mail filter prevented you from receiving it. Make sure that you have added experianconnectdonotreply@experian.com to your address book, and that should fix the problem.

 

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