I needed to download a transcript of my 2018 tax return. In order for the IRS to verify my identity, the online app asked for information based on my credit history.
After answering the questions perfectly (I have a not-too-old credit report in front of me), I failed three different times. After 3 failed attempts, you have to wait 24 hours to try again, and there is nobody you can contact to discuss the problem.
After waiting a day, I tried again. Same results.
The next night, I tried again (same behavior expecting different results ). Still, nada.
So, I decided to request my free credit reports for this year to make sure the verification questions still had the same answers. Lo and behold, only Trans Union produced a report. Both Experian and Equifax said my information didn't match their records.
So, I followed the AnnualCreditReport.com instructions and snail-mailed copies of my identity documentation.
That resulted in a letter on Friday from Equifax and another today from Experian. Equifax asked for the same exact info I sent AnnualCreditReport.
Experian, though, sent a report -- with zero accounts reporting! All it contained was my name, address, birthday, and SSAN last four.
I called Experian, and the guy I called verified no credit accounts, open or closed, existed. He came up with "we delete positive reports after 10 years," and "you should request your current creditors report to Experian in addition to any other agencies." Neither suggestion was relevant.
I called back with a 2017 Experian report in front of me that I ran in Jan that year. With the 2017 and 2020 report numbers, the second guy actually did more than explain how it's not their problem. After 10 minutes on hold, he said the problem is a known issue with some accounts. It's a problem created when they upgraded and migrated their account profiles, and it should be resolved in 3-5 days (less than the 2 months the IRS would take to send my return, I'm sure).
ANYWAY, now that I know there is a problem with some number of Experian members, I thought I'd pass this along. If you haven't taken advantage of your free reports lately, it might be a good time to make sure you are not in the same boat.
I was nervous someone had screwed with my identity and mucked up my credit history (not that my ex would ever do anything like that! ).
Maybe I should have taken "you don't have any open accounts" as an opportunity to stop making payments?
I guess I'm lucky this hasn't been a Twilight Zone episode ... "According to our records, the person with this account died last month."