How to Report Death to Credit Bureaus?

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How to Report Death to Credit Bureaus

As the surviving member of the family, there are so many responsibilities you may have to undertake after the death of a loved one. But having to may not quickly come to mind. Yet it is important to make the notification as early as possible to avoid identity fraud and to keep your loved one's credit file clean until it's closed for good.

If you notice any errors on the deceased's credit report, you can use DoNotpay to file a dispute with the credit bureaus. Our convenient online process is super easy to use and it takes the worry off your shoulders.

How to Report a Death to the Credit Bureaus

should be done by the following people:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • A legal representative

Any of the above persons should send the following documents:

  1. A copy of the death certificate
  2. A document stating the deceased's:
  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Date of death

The spouse is required to attach personal details such as their name, mailing address, and a copy of their identification such as an ID or a driver's license. The executor or any other legal representative, they are additionally required to provide their:

  • Identification
  • A copy of the will
  • An executor agreement
  • Or Power of Attorney

Here are the mailing addresses for each of the credit bureaus that you can use to notify them of the death.

Credit BureauAddress
ExperianConsumer Assistance Center

P.O Box 4500

Allen, TX 7501

EquifaxEquifax Information Services LLC

P.O Box 105139

Atlanta, GA 30348-5139

TransUnionTransUnion

P.O Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

For Experian, you have the option to upload the documents online. When the information is submitted to one credit bureau, it will notify the other two bureaus, eliminating the need to make three notifications.

Once the bureau receives the documents, they will flag the credit report with a deceased indicator which is an important step in preventing 'ghosting'. This process may take 5 - 7 working days depending on the bureau policy. The bureau will then send a confirmation letter to the spouse or legal representative to let them know that the credit file has been marked.

How Else Can a Death Get Reported to the Bureaus?

Apart from a family report, the bureaus can also get notified of a death by:

  1. Social Security Administration (SSA)

The SSA regularly forwards an updated list of the newly deceased to the three credit bureaus. However, these records only cover social security beneficiaries whose deaths were reported to the SSA by funeral directors, family members, or a legal representative.

  1. Creditors

A spouse or a legal representative of the deceased should contact all the creditors involved and notify them of their client's death. If you hold joint accounts with the deceased, make sure to provide enough details to prove that only one spouse is deceased. This should help to keep the accounts open so you don't have to suffer any financial constraints.

As the creditors update their records with the credit bureaus, the death also gets reported.

Note that the SSA and creditors typically take longer to report deaths, leaving a potential gap for fraudsters to take over the deceased's accounts and use them to:

  • Open up new credit accounts
  • Commit tax fraud

The best option to help maintain your loved one's clean credit report is for you to report the death as early as possible.

What Further Actions Can I Take To Maintain a Loved One’s Credit Report?

You can take the following actions to maintain your loved one's credit report..

  • Request for credit reports. Request their credit reports from the three credit bureaus and make sure to review them thoroughly so you can gather information on their credit status.
  • Report any suspected fraud on the credit report. If you come across any suspicious activity on the deceased's credit report, alert the lenders whose accounts have been affected. If the lenders can verify the fraud, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Upon receiving a copy of the identity theft report from the FTC, you can now file a report at your local police department for proper investigation.
  • File a dispute if there are any errors. If you find errors on your loved one's credit report, you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and have them corrected under the FCRA. If they can't validate their claims, they are also required to remove the mark completely.

Get a Clean Credit Report with the Help of Donotpay

Filing a dispute with the credit bureaus on behalf of the deceased yourself can be time-consuming and exhausting. That's why DoNotPay offers you an easy way out by doing all the legwork on your behalf.

If you want to clean up your loved one's credit report but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:

  1. Search Clean Credit Report on DoNotPay.

  2. Prepare a recent copy of your credit report that you can use as a reference.

  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options:
  1. If you've already paid off your debt, we'll help you file a Goodwill Removal Request to get it removed.

  2. If you notice any errors in your report (we have a list of common errors you can use!), we'll help you file a credit dispute to the creditor or major credit bureaus.

  3. If there are no errors, we'll check if you're still eligible to file a debt validation request. If they can't validate your debt, they're required to remove it from your report and they can't collect it!

  4. Lastly, if none of the above options work, we'll help you file a pay-to-delete negotiation letter. You can customize the amount you are willing to pay in exchange for getting the item removed.

You can also check out our other credit products, including Credit Limit Increase, Get My Credit Report, Keep Unused Cards Active, and more!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

Helping you clean up your loved one's credit report is just one of the many things we can do for you. If you need help with your own credit report, DoNotPay can:

Here are other services you can enjoy on DoNotPay:

Losing a loved one can heap many responsibilities on you. So, if you would like to file a dispute with the credit bureaus, let DoNotPay do it on your behalf and take some of the load off of you. Try us today!

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