Through December 31, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.
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A Social Security number (SSN) is helpful when compiling your credit history because it is the only identifier uniquely assigned to each U.S. consumer. Experian will ask for it when you order your own credit report to help ensure that we provide you a complete and accurate report. If you don't have an SSN, however, Experian will rely on other identification elements to compile your credit history.
In addition to your Social Security number, Experian asks for other identifying information, including your name, addresses for the past two years and your date of birth. This is used to access the credit history information provided to us by your lenders so we can deliver your credit report.
While it's possible to have a credit report and credit score even if you don't have an SSN, providing your full identification information is key to ensuring that the report you receive is accurate and complete.
Can You Establish Credit Without a Social Security Number?
Lenders typically require a Social Security number when you apply for a credit account. However, if you opened an account without an SSN and the lender reports its accounts to Experian, the account should still appear on your credit report, helping you establish credit. That's because Experian doesn't match information to a person's credit history using only the SSN: Experian matches information using all of the identification information provided by the lender.
If you are just starting to establish credit in your name, or if you have not used credit in quite some time, it is possible that you may not have a credit score even if you have a credit report. There are many different credit scoring models available for lenders to use. While some may be able to calculate a score with as little as one account appearing on your report, others may require multiple accounts to be reported for a certain period of time in order to generate a credit score. Credit scores often require three to six months of activity to be reported before the account will be included in score calculations.
Even if you had an established credit history in the past, some credit score models may not be able to generate a score if there has been no activity on any of your accounts in the past several months.
Can I Request a Credit Report With an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is issued to an individual for tax purposes. These numbers, if used, would be recognized as an invalid Social Security number on your credit report.
If you do not have an SSN, you can submit your request for a free credit report in writing. Please include one copy of a government-issued identification card, such as a driver's license, state ID card or similar displaying your current address, and one copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, insurance statement or similar.
Please also include the following identification information:
- Your full name including middle initial (and generation - Jr., II, III)
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Complete addresses for the past two years
Send your request to:
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
What Is a Credit Privacy Number (CPN)?
A Credit Privacy Number (CPN) is a term coined by credit repair firms and other companies in an attempt to convince consumers that they can purchase a "Social Security number replacement" to use for the purpose of obtaining new credit. This may also be referred to as a Credit Profile Number or a Credit Protection Number.
Unlike Social Security numbers and Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, a CPN is not issued by the Social Security Administration nor the IRS. Using these fictional and sometimes stolen numbers to apply for credit instead of your SSN may be considered a form of identity theft and fraud.
How Can I Get or Replace a Social Security Card?
If you have lost your Social Security card or need a new one due to a name change, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration to request a replacement. You can do so either online (in most states), through the mail or by going to your local SSA office. Be prepared to provide proof of citizenship (a U.S. birth certificate or passport) and/or proof of identity, such a driver's license or state-issued identification card.
If you are an adult and are requesting a Social Security number or card for the first time, the process may be somewhat different. You can read more about how to do this on the Social Security Administration website.
Ordering Your Credit Report and Credit Score
If you do not have a Social Security number, you may be asked to send your request in writing, along with proof of your identity, such as a copy of your driver's license and a utility bill or bank statement. Send your request to:
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
When you order your credit report from Experian by phone or by mail, a credit score will be included.
You can also request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies at AnnualCreditReport.com, but you will need to enter a Social Security number. Through at least April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are offering free reports weekly to all U.S. consumers through this website.