With data breaches so prevalent, many consumers have had to familiarize themselves with the three major credit bureaus to freeze their credit. While many have done so online, some prefer to speak to a live person.
I counted myself among the former, at least at first. Then I picked up the phone and called all three of the major credit-reporting bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — and spoke to a real, live person.
I’m going to share with you the steps you need to talk to reach a live person at Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
How to Reach a Human at Experian, TransUnion and Equifax
One thing of note: Call wait times may take longer if you make them during peak hours. Try to call earlier in the day.
- Phone number: Experian’s official customer service number is: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742). But I called 1-714-830-7000 to talk to a human.
- How to reach a real person: Bypass the consumer line and call the business or client line. Press 2.
- Total wait time: 2 minutes
Details on how to reach a live person at Experian: The thing to know about Experian is that they want consumers to enter a lot of personal information to get connected to a human.
You’ll be greeting by an automated voice that says, “If you are a consumer and would like assistance with your personal credit report, press 1. If you are a business or client of Experian press 2.” Here’s what to do:
- Press 2: You’ll be forwarded to a live person in about a minute.
If you press 1, you’ll continue to deal with an automated voice, which will ask you to enter your Social Security number, home address and more. Even after all that, you’ll be prompted to go online or to write to them via U.S. mail.
After calling multiple times and pressing 1, I never found a way to reach a human. By pressing 2, I was connected to a live person in less than a minute each time.
When to call: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday CT
- Phone number: The official customer care number for TransUnion is 1-800-916-8800, and that’s the number I called to get to a real person.
- How to reach a real person: Press 0.
- Total wait time: 2 minutes
Details on how to reach a live person at TransUnion: To speak to a human at TransUnion I had to listen to the prompts. At the end it then says “to speak to an agent press 0.” That’s what I did.
- Phone number: While their official customer service phone number is 1-800-548-7878, I found the easiest path to reaching a real human by calling this number: 1-866-640-2273.
- How to reach a real person: Press 1, then Press 4.
- Total wait time: 5 minutes.
Details on how to reach a live person at Equifax: The credit bureau has changed its menu options so the process of reaching a human may be a bit longer now.
The call will start with some introductory promotions then an automated voice will say “For English, press 1, for Spanish, press 2.”
You’ll hear a menu with five options. You’ll be prompted to:
- Press 1 to speak to a representative about changing or disputing your Equifax credit report, placing or removing a security freeze or information regarding your free credit report
- Press 2 for login help
- Press 3 to cancel a product
- Press 4 to speak to a product specialist
- Press 5 if you’re having trouble enrolling in a product
If you don’t press anything, it may connect you to a real person in a few seconds. If not, here’s what to do:
- Press 4: You’ll be forwarded to an agent shortly.
After calling multiple times, pressing 4 was the quickest way I reached a human. I also reached a live person by pressing 1, but it took longer.
They may also ask you the following: “If you’d like to receive a callback rather than wait on hold, press 1 now. You will not lose your place in line.”
When to call: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday ET
Now that we’ve gone over how to reach a live person at the three major credit bureaus, let’s review:
Recap: Quick Ways to Reach a Real Person at the Credit Bureaus
|Credit Bureau||Phone Number||Operating Hours|
|Experian||1-714-830-7000||7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon-Fri CT|
|TransUnion||1-800-916-8800||8 a.m. to midnight, Mon-Thu; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fri-Sun ET|
|Equifax||1-866-640-2273||8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Mon-Fri|
Reaching real, live help at the credit bureaus can be a pain, but be persistent.
Have you had success reaching customer service representatives by calling other numbers? If so, let us know in the comments!