Frequently Asked Questions

Membership

What do I get with my Credit Manager Plus membership?

As a Credit Manager Plus member, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Quarterly Access to your Experian� Credit Report
  • Bi-Monthly Score Monitoring and Alerts
  • Daily Credit Monitoring and Alerts

How much does the Credit Manager Plus membership cost?

Membership costs $8.99 per month. You may cancel at anytime; however, you will not be eligible for a refund for your membership fees.

How do I cancel my membership?

To cancel, please contact Customer Care at 888-210-9101.

Ordering and Billing

Will ordering my Credit Report hurt my score?

No, it won't. When you order your own Credit Report, be it during your trial membership or at any other time, it's called a "soft inquiry". Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score, and don't appear on your Credit Report when a lender views it.

A "hard inquiry" is placed on your Credit Report when a company reviews your credit as part of an application. Having too many hard inquiries could mean that you are overextending yourself and could potentially lower your score.

Is the transaction safe?

Yes, the process of sending and receiving your information is encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. This technology helps ensure 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+.

What do you do with my private information?

We take privacy and security very seriously. The information that you provide during the order process is used to verify your identity and remains in our system. Your Credit Report and Score are stored in our system to be viewed by you on the website. Under no circumstances will we use, resell, or provide your credit information to any third-party marketers. If you call one of our Customer Care Representatives, 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.

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. Sales tax may be included on membership orders and any additional reports and scores that you purchase, such as a Three Bureau Report and Scores.

The address you provided during the order 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 membership fee.

Keeping your address up-to-date in our system will help ensure the sales tax is calculated accurately during each billing cycle. You can easily update your address information anytime from the Personal Information page. You may also contact our Customer Care Team at 888-210-9101 for address changes.

Can I get my Credit Score and Report by mail?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide Credit Scores and Reports by mail at this time.

I don't have a credit card. Can I still purchase an online credit report?

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

Can I order someone else's Credit Report?

No. It's a federal crime to obtain a copy of someone's Credit Report without their permission, punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Your Legal Rights

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the law passed by Congress defining your legal rights in regard to your Credit Report. Among other rights, the FCRA says:

  • You must be told if information in your Credit Report has been used against you.
  • You have the right to know what is in your Credit Report.
  • You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's webpage about the FCRA. (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcrajump.shtm)

What is the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act?

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) was signed into in 2003. FACTA was a revision to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and allows consumers to get one free Credit Report from each of the three national bureaus once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's webpage about the FCRA. (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcrajump.shtm)

What is the Credit Repair Organizations Act?

The Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) was signed into law in 1996 and governs the business and advertising practices of companies claming to offer "credit repair" services. Prior to CROA, there were some companies that took advantage of consumers and profited on advice that actually hurt consumers instead of helping them.

Be very careful when dealing with any company that offers to "fix" or "clean" your credit for money. Many of the services these agencies offer are things you can do for yourself at no cost, such as filing disputes with the credit bureaus.

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 gotten 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. Credit Manager Plus uses the PLUS Score calculation, which is the standard calculation offered by Experian.

How often do you update my Credit Score?

You get your first Credit Score when you sign up for your membership. After that, we'll update your Credit Score twice each month. You have the option of receiving Score Alerts if your Credit Score changes. Click here to edit your score alert settings.

Your latest score can also be viewed in your Score Center, which contains other information pertaining to your Credit Score, including the ability to track the progress of your score over time.

How do I use the Score Center?

The Score Center has three different pages where you can track your score over time, understand the factors that determine your score, and estimate possible changes to your score. Your most recent Credit Score is always available in the top right of the Score Center.

On the Track Your Score page, there is a graph showing how your score has changed over time. You can use the dropdown menu to highlight the last three months, or view your complete history from the beginning of your membership. You also have the option of seeing your score history in a list format.

On the Understand Your Score page, we have provided a list of the factors that primarily contributed to your most recent Credit Score (positive and negative). They are displayed in order of impact, with the first entry being the factor that affects your score the most. You can also re-sort to display negative and positive factors separately.

On the Estimate Your Score page, you can project how your Credit Score may change based on various credit behaviors. Using a dropdown menu, this tool allows you to simulate changes to your Credit Report. The application requires a Credit Report and Score to function properly. If you do not have a current Credit Report and Score, you need to update your Credit Report and Score.

How long is my Credit Score available?

All of your Credit Scores are available on the Track Your Score page. We only keep the detailed information (such as the factors contributing to your score) until the next time your score is updated.

Which bureau's Credit Report is my Credit Score based on?

As part of your membership, Credit Manager Plus uses your Experian Credit Report to calculate your Credit Score. The Homepage, the Score Center, and the Monthly Statement all use the Experian Credit Score.

For an additional one-time fee you can also see your Equifax and TransUnion Credit Reports and Scores by ordering your Three-Bureau Report and Scores. We recommend reviewing your Three-Bureau Report and Scores about once every three months.

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

It's 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 "FICO" 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 you read this article on Experian.com. (http://www.experian.com/ask_max/max080807b.html)

The score calculation used on Credit Manager Plus is the PLUS Score, which is the standard calculation offered by Experian.

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 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.

For an additional one-time fee you can order your Three Bureau Report and Scores. We recommend reviewing your Three-Bureau Report and Scores around once every three months.

How do I improve my Credit Score?

In 1996 Congress passed a law called the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) that limits the ability of many organizations from offering "credit advice". 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.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's webpage about CROA. (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/croa/croa.shtm)

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.

Is this where I get the free Credit Report from the federal government?

No, As part of your membership, Credit Manager Plus provides you with your credit score, Score Trending, Experian Credit Report, Credit and Score Alerts, Monthly Credit Statements and many educational tools. If you choose to, you can also receive a copy of your free annual credit report provided for under federal law at the annualcreditreport.com website.

Which bureau's Credit Report do you provide?

As part of your membership, Credit Manager Plus provides you with quarterly access to your Experian Credit Report.

For an additional one-time fee, you can also see your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports and scores by ordering a Three-Bureau Report and Scores. We recommend reviewing your Three-Bureau Report and Scores about once every three months.

How often do you refresh my Credit Report?

There are very specific laws for your protection that prohibit anyone from accessing your Credit Report without your permission, and that includes us. While we do periodically update your Credit Score and some summary information automatically, we never refresh your Credit Report unless you specifically give us permission to.

As a paid member of Credit Manager Plus, you are able to request a refresh of your Experian Credit Report at no additional charge quarterly.

How long is my Credit Report available?

To protect your privacy, we only keep copies of your Credit Report for 30 days. This is the same for an Experian Credit Report and for a Three Bureau Credit Report.

If you need to keep a copy of your Credit Report for longer than 30 days, you can print out your report.

What should I do if there's a mistake on my Credit Report?

If you see something that is incorrect on your Credit Report and want it corrected, you have two options available. You can either contact the company reporting the incorrect information directly or you can file a dispute with the credit bureau. More information on filing disputes, and access to the Experian Online Dispute is available in the Dispute Center.

What should I do if there's something on my Credit Report that hurts my Credit Score?

In 1996, Congress passed a law called the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) that limits the ability of many organizations from offering "credit advice". While we do offer a great deal of credit-related education throughout the website, we are unable to provide any direct advice on how someone could improve their credit.

For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's webpage about CROA. (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/croa/croa.shtm)

Why doesn't the information on my Three Bureau Report match from bureau to bureau?

The three national credit bureaus do not share information with each other, so if your creditor only sends information to one or two of the bureaus or only pulls an inquiry from one bureau, then the information won't appear on all three reports. The three bureaus also have different formats for the way they collect and store data, so sometimes 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.

For an additional one-time fee, you can order your Three Bureau Report and Scores. We recommend reviewing your Three-Bureau Report and Scores about once every three months.

Will my spouse's name and information appear on my report?

There is no such thing as a "joint" Credit Report. Every Credit Report is specific to the individual. However, if you are both listed on an account (as co-owners of the account or as authorized users) then that account would appear on both of your Credit Reports.

What is Adobe Reader and why do I need it to print my report?

Adobe Reader is a software program used by hundreds of thousands of companies to view files called PDFs. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. You probably already have Adobe Reader on your computer. Many computers come with the program pre-installed. If you do not already have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can install it for free from adobe.com. (http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/)

We use Adobe Reader for the printable version of the Credit Report because it provides the cleanest, easiest way to print the report. If you try to print the online version of your Credit Report, the print out would contain awkward page-breaks and would use extra ink for all of the background images on the website.

Credit and Score Alerts

What are Score Alerts?

Your Experian Credit Score is monitored twice a month for changes. When you create your membership, you are automatically set up to receive Email Alerts for changes in risk levels and changes of more than ten points. You can adjust these settings and set up additional alerts from the Alert Settings page for no additional cost. Your newest unviewed alerts are posted to your Homepage, and you can review all of your alerts in the Alerts Center.

Your new score will also update your Score Center, where you can track your score over time, understand the factors that contribute to your score, and estimate possible changes to your score.

What are Credit Alerts?

Your Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion Credit Reports are monitored daily to see if key information has changed or if new data has been added. If it has, we'll send you an email to let you know. Your newest unviewed alerts are posted to your Member Homepage, and you can review all of your alerts from the Alerts Center. Key changes include Public Records, Potentially Negative Information, New Hard Inquiries, New Accounts, and Address Changes.

How do I use the Alerts Center?

The Alerts Center provides a list of all the credit and score alerts we've sent you. The most recent alerts appear first on the page, and unviewed alerts are highlighted for you. To view additional information about a specific alert, click on the alert and the panel to the right will provide details and educational information.

You can also use the view filter to see only score alerts or credit alerts, and go back through your history using the page links at the bottom.

When will I start receiving alerts?

It usually takes no more than five to seven days to enroll new members in all the different types of alerts we send out (mainly because the three bureaus process enrollment separately). You will know enrollment is complete because the alerts section of your Member Homepage will update to tell you so.

What should I do when I get a Score or Credit Alert?

That depends on what type of alert it is, and whether or not you recognize the information in the alert. We recommend you view all the alert details in the Alerts Center and read the extra information available there to help determine your next steps.

Can I change the email address alerts are sent to?

Yes you can. You are able to change the email address for your account from the Email and Text Message Settings page.

Can I get my alerts as text messages?

Yes you can. You are able to set up, modify, or cancel text message alerts from the Email and Text Message Settings page for no additional cost.

If you need help, simply text HELP to the short code you are enrolled in from your mobile device. To quit, simply text STOP to the short code you are enrolled in from your mobile device, or opt-out from the Email and Text Message Settings page. Be advised, STANDARD AND MESSAGING DATA RATES MAY APPLY.

My alert disappeared off the homepage. Where is it?

Don't worry, it's not gone. We only display the alerts you haven't seen yet on the Member Homepage. All of your alerts are still available in the Alerts Center.

I got an email saying that I was only enrolled in one or two of the credit bureaus. What happened?

Unfortunately, a small percentage of people are not able to be enrolled in credit monitoring with all three bureaus. This may be because you don't have a credit file with one or more or more of the bureaus. We will keep your membership active as long as we can enroll you in at least one of the bureaus. If you have any further questions about this situation, please contact one of our Customer Care Representatives at 888-210-9101.

Monthly Credit Statement

What is a Monthly Credit Statement?

One of our goals is to simplify the confusing world of credit for you. Our website offers a lot of different ways to view and understand your information, but sometimes you just want one simple way to see it all. Once a month we'll take your Credit Score, any alerts we've sent you, some important summary information from your Credit Report and provide it in one easy-to-read format.

How do I know when my Monthly Credit Statement is updated?

We'll send you an email, and there will be a notification on the "Report" tab at the top of the website letting you know the Monthly Statement is ready.

Which bureau is the information in the Monthly Credit Statement based on?

The Credit Score and the Credit Summary data in the monthly statement are based on the information in your Experian Credit Report. The alerts history in the monthly statement is based on information from all three of the national credit bureaus.

What is Adobe Reader and why do I need it to print my Monthly Statement?

Adobe Reader is a software program used by hundreds of thousands of companies to view files called PDFs. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. You probably already have Adobe Reader on your computer. Many computers come with the program pre-installed. If you do not already have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can install it for free from adobe.com. (http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/)

We use Adobe Reader for the printable version of the Credit Report because it provides the cleanest, easiest way to print the report. If you try to print the online version of your Credit Report, the print out would contain awkward page-breaks and would use extra ink for all of the background images on the website.

ChildSecureSM

What is ChildSecure?

ChildSecure is an identity monitoring product for your children. After you've enrolled your children in ChildSecure, we will monitor the Experian Credit Database for any records and alert you if someone applies for credit or opens checking accounts using your children's personal information.

ChildSecure is available for purchase as an additional benefit to your Credit Manager Plus membership for a $6.95 monthly fee.

How much does ChildSecure cost?

CardSafe costs $6.95 for a monthly membership. If you purchase ChildSecure, you will be billed your regular membership fee plus the additional fee for ChildSecure on your next bill date.

If I enroll my child, what will you do with my child's information?

We treat your children's information with the same care and sense of privacy and security that we treat your personal credit information. We do not use it, resell it, or provide your credit information to any third-party marketers. If you call one of our Customer Care Representatives they do not see your child's information 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.

If I can obtain this information about my child's files, can't other people also obtain this information?

No. You are able to enroll your child in monitoring online, but in order to see any information that is collected through the monitoring process, we require you to fax documentation that you are the parent or legal guardian to us as proof. Once we have received this information and verified that you are the parent or guardian, you will be able to obtain a paper copy of your child's information in the mail.

Why can't I see my child's information online?

We take you and your children's privacy and security seriously. Because there is no definite way for you to prove that you are the parent or guardian of your child online, we require you to fax documentation to us as proof. Once we have received this information and verified that you are the parent or guardian, you will be able to obtain a paper copy of your child's information in the mail.

Troubleshooting

What if I forget my username and password?

If you have forgotten your username or password, click here to reset your username and password online. We will ask you a few questions based on information you gave us when you established your membership. You will then be able to reset your information. You can call us at 888-210-9101 if you need additional assistance.

I tried to order, but I got an error message saying I would receive a letter in the mail with an access code. What happened?

We take privacy and security very seriously. If you got that message it was because we weren't absolutely certain you are who you say you are. As a way of validating your identity, we send a letter to the address on your Credit Report with an access code. When you receive the letter, sign in to the website and provide that code to access your report.

If you've moved, don't worry. The person living at your old address would also need to know the username and password you created to log into the website. Your information is still secure. Call us at 888-210-9101 and we'll try to validate your identity over the phone.

My order didn't go through. What happened?

We're 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 need to be certain you are who you say you are before we can present any sensitive information.

- The credit bureau doesn't have a complete report for you. This can happen for younger people still establishing their credit, for people who don't use credit very often or for people who have spent years out of the country.

If you need further assistance with your order call our Customer Care Team at 888-210-9101.

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

Credit Manager Plus 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.