Credit Report Assistance
Effective Date: July 27, 2018
Protecting your personal information is important to Equifax® (“We” or “Us”). Please review the following information regarding our privacy policies and practices.
This document includes information about:
- Information We Collect and How We Use It
- How We Share Information
- Information Security
- Updating or Correcting Your Personal Information
- Your Choice and Control Over Your Information
- Third Party Websites and Services
- Users Outside the United States
- Changes to this Policy
- How to Contact Us
Special Note for Parents: The Website is a general audience website and is not designed or intended to attract children under age 13. We do not collect personal information from any person we actually know is under age 13.
1. Information We Collect and How We Use It
We collect the information necessary to help you obtain a free or reduced-fee disclosure of your credit file, dispute item(s) on your credit file, request that an initial fraud alert or an active duty alert be placed on your credit file, or take any action associated with a security freeze on your credit file (collectively "Consumer Activities").
The information we gather from you enables us to fulfill your requests and personalize and improve our Website features. The information we collect from you includes: (1) information you provide directly to us; (2) information collected automatically (such as through cookies); and (3) information from other sources.
Information You Provide to Us: We may receive and store any information when you use our Website to perform one of the Consumer Activities or that you provide to us in any other way. This includes personal information, which is information that can identify you as an individual. Examples of personal information include, but are not limited to, your name, your physical or email address, your date of birth, and your Social Security number. Personal information does not include information that does not reveal your specific identity or does not directly relate to an individual, such as demographic, de-identified or aggregated data. You can choose not to provide us with certain information, but then we may not be able to fulfill your requests, or you may not be able to take advantage of all of the features of our Website.
We will retain the information we collect in connection with your requests for up to seven years after you submit the request for audit purposes.
Identity Verification: When you request your free annual credit file disclosure, we will verify your identity. We will ask you from two to six multiple-choice questions in which you will need to provide certain information that only you should know. We do this for your protection. The answers to these questions are used to verify your identity and are not provided to any nonaffiliated third party.
Supplementation of Personal Information: To improve the security of our Website, to protect your identity, and to protect your information, we may verify your personal information by matching the information you provide against other publicly available information that we obtain from identification verification companies.
Information Collected Automatically
We may receive and store certain types of information automatically when you interact with our website.
Cookies: We use session and persistent cookie technology. Generally speaking, cookies are text files that are placed in your device's browser. Cookies can be used to help recognize your browser across different web pages, websites, and browsing sessions and to personalize and improve your experience on the Website. For example, cookies are used in order to:
- Allow us to gather aggregated statistical data about the use of our Website;
- Help us understand and improve your navigation of our Website;
- Enable us to store your preferences for certain kinds of information;
- Help us to provide features such as personalized offers that we believe may be of interest to you;
- Allow us to store your user name so that we recognize you when you return to our Website; and
- Help us combat identity theft and fraud with more reliable identity verification and authentication data.
Web Beacons: We use a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage content on our website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user's computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We also use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of our communications.
Log Files: Equifax may choose to automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser including your IP address, cookie information, and the page you requested. Our servers may automatically collect usage information, such as the numbers and frequency of visitors to our Website and its components, similar to TV ratings that indicate how many people watched a particular show. Equifax uses this data in aggregate form, that is, as a statistical measure, and not in a manner that would identify you personally. This type of aggregate data enables us to figure out how often customers use parts of the website so that we can make the website appealing to as many customers as possible, and improve those features.
Device Identification: We also may collect other information about the device you use to access our Website. The information may include device type, operating system, device model number, serial number and types and versions of browser software used. We may also collect your IP address, which is a number automatically assigned to your device when you access the Internet and can be used to derive your general geographic location. This information is used to create a digital identifier for your device that may be associated with your account.
Information We Collect from Others:
We collect information about you from third parties, including AnnualCreditReport.com (the centralized service for consumers to request their free annual credit reports), parties from whom we request information in connection with your request for dispute resolution, the centralized pre-screening opt-out management service, and other credit reporting agencies when you place initial fraud or active duty alerts.
We may receive additional information about you, from sources such as data brokers, data cooperatives, other commercial sources, and public databases. For example, we may collect information about average household income and census data relating to households within particular geographic areas to better understand the characteristics of visitors to our Website and to develop new products and content areas. We may also receive information from third parties that identifies your interactions with our Website across multiple devices.
2. How We May Share Information
We will not disclose your personal information to third parties except in connection with the Consumer Activities, or under certain circumstances as described in this policy.
Fraud alerts: If you place an initial fraud or active duty alert on your file, we will notify TransUnion and Experian that you have done so in order to enable them to place fraud alerts on your file as well.
Dispute of information in your credit file: When you dispute information in your credit file, we will disclose the information to the organization that provided the disputed data in order to process your request.
Links to other sites: We provide links to other sites, such as AnnualCreditReport.com. When you click on one of those links, we will not provide any personal information about you, but will let the site know that you came from Equifax. We do not control the privacy practices and policies of other sites. Please read their privacy policies in order to understand what information they collect about you and how they use it.
Aggregated, non-personal information: We may share aggregated non-personal information about you with third parties. This is information that is combined with the non-personal information of other users and does not allow you to be identified or contacted. Depending on the circumstances, we may or may not charge third parties for this aggregated information. We also may or may not limit the third parties' use of the aggregated information.
Business Transfers: If all or part of our company is sold or merged, if we make a sale or transfer of assets, or in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy, we may transfer your information, including your personal information, to one or more third parties as part of that transaction.
To Protect You, Equifax and Others: We reserve the right to disclose your information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process; enforce or apply our conditions of use and other agreements; or protect the rights, property, or safety of Equifax, our employees, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection and credit risk reduction.
Fraud Detection: We may disclose your information where we believe it is appropriate to detect, prevent, and address fraud or other illegal activity. For example, we may disclose your device information and device digital identifier, as well as other information, including but not limited to IP address or account identifier, to our partners that provide services designed to detect potential fraud. This information may be combined with information from other participating services in order to improve the security of our online environment.
3. Information Security
We are committed to protecting the security of your personal information, and use technical, administrative and physical security measures that comply with applicable federal and state laws. However, no data transmission or storage can be guaranteed to be 100 percent secure. As a result, while we strive to protect the personal information we maintain, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information that you transmit to us.
4. Updating or Correcting Your Personal Information
If you are an Equifax customer, you may update and correct certain personal information by logging in to your account and editing your account profile.
You also may contact us by email or postal mail by using the contact information listed below.
5. Your Choice and Control over Your Information
Disabling Cookies: Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but may be configured not to do so or to notify the user when a cookie is being sent. If you wish to disable cookies, refer to your browser help menu to learn how to disable cookies. You will need to manage your cookie settings for each device and browser that you use. Please note, however, that if your browser does not accept cookies, you may not be able to take advantage of some of our website features.
Do Not Track Signal: Some web browsers may transmit "do not track" signals to the websites and other online services with which a user communicates. There is no industry standard that governs what, if anything, websites should do when they receive these signals. We currently do not take action in response to these signals. If and when a standard is established and accepted, we may revisit our policy on responding to these signals.
Opting out of Equifax promotional or marketing offers from Equifax: If you do not wish to receive promotional or marketing offers by email, you may opt out of receiving further promotional offers and emails by clicking on the "unsubscribe" button in the email. In addition, if you are an Equifax customer, you may change your preferences by editing your account profile. Note, however, if you are an Equifax customer, you will continue to receive emails from us related to the operation and administration of your account.
Online Behavioral Advertising: The Equifax Online Behavioral Advertising Notice also provides information about how you may opt out from receiving ads based on your online behavior. Please visit the websites operated by the following organizations to learn more, including to learn about choices to opt out of targeted advertising:
Your California Privacy Rights: California Civil Code Section 1798.83 entitles California customers to request information concerning whether a business has disclosed Personal Information to any third parties for the third parties' direct marketing purposes. California customers who wish to request further information about our compliance with this law or have questions or concerns about our privacy practices and policies may contact us as specified in the "How to Contact Us" section.
6. Third Party Web Sites and Services
7. Users Outside the United States
This Website is intended for users within the United States. If you use this Website from outside the United States, please be aware that information you provide to Equifax or that Equifax obtains as a result of your use of this Website may be processed and transferred to the United States and be subject to the laws of the United States. The privacy and data protection laws in the United States may not be equivalent to such laws in your country of residence. By using our Website, using any of our Website's functions or features, or by providing us with your personal information or non-personal information, you consent to the collection, transfer, storage, and processing of your information in and to the United States.
9. How to Contact Us