If you have not used certain credit cards in a while or have concerns about identity theft, you may want to research what accounts you have open in your name. Staying abreast of your open credit card accounts can help you resolve issues such as disputing account charges or closing inactive cards. Since credit cards are tied to your social security number, you should still be able to find accounts even if you have changed your name.
Visit the FTC-sponsored Annual Credit Report website. This is the only website recommended by the Federal Trade Commission for individuals to request copies of their credit reports. You are eligible by law for a free copy every 12 months.
Enter your personal information into the required fields on the Annual Credit Report site. This includes your name, social security number, birth date and address. You will be also asked a question to confirm your identity. For example, you may be required to enter the payment amount for your mortgage.
Review all reports available. Access the reports available from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Although much of the information from each credit reporting bureau will be the same, there are likely to be some accounts that appear on one report and not on another.
Look at the reports in their entirety. They will detail all credit cards you have in your name as well as the status of the account: open, closed or default. Even if the credit card has been inactive and you do not owe a balance to the company, it will still appear on the credit report. If you need to contact the creditor, their name and contact information appears on the report.
If you find on your credit reports any credit card accounts in your name that you have no knowledge of, you can contact the reporting agency to dispute the item.
- FTC.gov: Credit Reporting
- Report to Congress. "Under Section 318 and 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003." Accessed October 8, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Common Errors People Find on Their Credit Report - and How to Get Them Fixed." Accessed October 8, 2020.
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.