To check your credit information with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) rather than a Social Security Number (SSN), you will need to contact one of the three major credit bureaus directly. You should receive a copy of your credit report after submitting the required identification information, which may differ depending on whether you choose Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. While individuals with an SSN can also receive a free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com, the site does not allow people to submit a request using an ITIN. 
What is an ITIN number?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to people who need a U.S. taxpayer identification number, but who do not have and cannot get a SSN. ITINs help people comply with U.S. tax laws and provide a way to file and process taxes without an SSN.
ITINs do not authorize people to work in the U.S., qualify them for Social Security benefits, or serve any purpose other than federal tax reporting.  While both numbers count as Taxpayer Identification Numbers for tax purposes, SSNs are issued by the Social Security Administration and ITINs are issued by the IRS. 
Individuals meeting the following requirements need an ITIN:
- Those who do not have and are not eligible for an SSN
- Those who are required to file a federal tax return (or provide a federal tax identification number) and are in a specific category of resident or nonresident noncitizens, spouse, or dependent as indicated on the IRS website
How to get your credit score with an ITIN
You may be able to check your credit score using a few strategies, but some may be limited to only getting scores for individuals with SSN: 
- Check credit card or loan statements: Some credit card issuers and auto loan companies now provide regular credit scores for their customers. If you are a customer, you may find your score on your monthly statement or by signing into your account online. Depending on the company, this regular reporting may be limited to those with SSN. 
- Buy credit reports and other credit information from accredited companies: You may be able to purchase your credit score directly from the major consumer reporting agencies. 
How to get your credit report with an ITIN
You can request a credit report from each credit bureau (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) by using your ITIN. While credit reports do not typically contain your credit score, they do form the basis for calculating your credit score. Experian may include a credit score when you order your report. Depending on the particular lender and credit scoring model, it may take three to six months of reported credit activity to generate a score. 
How to get your credit report from Experian
To get a copy of your credit report with an ITIN from Experian, you can submit a request with specific required information in writing. 
If you have an ITIN rather than an SSN, Experian will rely on other identification elements to compile your credit history. If you need help, call Experian at (888) 397-3742. Otherwise, when submitting a written request for an Experian credit report with an ITIN, you will need to provide the following information:
- Government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or state ID card)
- Copy of bank statement, utility bill or similar documentation with your name
- Your full legal name
- Your date of birth
- Your current address and all addresses you’ve lived at over the past two years
Mail your letter and information to:
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
How to get your credit report from TransUnion
You can contact the company directly by mail to request a credit report with an ITIN.  If you need help, call Transunion and speak to a representative at (800) 916-8800. Otherwise, just write to them asking for a free credit report and provide the following information:
- Government-issued ID (like a driver’s license or state ID card)
- Your full legal name
- Your current address
Mail your letter and information to:
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19016
How to get your credit report from Equifax
To order a credit report online from Equifax, start by creating a myEquifax account, which allows you to input your ITIN number.  Creating an account entitles you to six free Equifax credit reports per year. From your myEquifax account, you can also sign up for Equifax Core Credit™, which enables you to receive a free monthly Equifax credit report and a free monthly VantageScore® credit score based on Equifax data. 
Your legal rights with credit reporting agencies
Federal law entitles you to get a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus, but because of COVID-19, you all three bureaus still offer weekly reports for free (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) through the end of 2023
Certain specific circumstances entitle you to an additional free copy of your credit report, such as: 
- Your information is inaccurate due to fraud: If you believe your credit file contains inaccurate information due to fraud, you may request a free credit report.
- You are unemployed and seeking work: If you are out of work and plan to apply for a job within 60 days, you also qualify for a free credit report.
- You are using public welfare assistance: Recipients of any public assistance, such as welfare, may receive a free credit report.
- You are requesting reports due to identity theft: If you have suffered identity theft or other fraud, you may request a free credit report.
How to check your credit status
“Credit invisible” consumers — a term that describes an estimated 11% of adults in the U.S. in 2021 — have no credit history or credit reports at any of the three major credit bureaus. Without a record of having used consumer credit, you may find it difficult to qualify for personal loans, receive credit card approval or even get a credit score. 
Whether a young person just starting your credit journey or a new immigrant without a U.S.-based credit report, your lack of credit history may render you “credit invisible.” You can check your credit status by ordering a copy of your credit report and reviewing the information contained within.  
How do credit scores work?
When you apply for new credit, credit scores give potential lenders (and sometimes landlords or employers) an idea of how responsibly you manage your credit. When checking your credit score, lenders use either FICO® scores or VantageScore® models. Your credit score from both models factors in your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, number of accounts and your credit mix. Your score may be one factor that credit providers use when reviewing your credit or loan application.
What information is on your credit report?
Your credit report summarizes how well you have handled credit accounts in the past. Financial institutions and credit card companies may use this information to decide whether to offer you credit and what terms will apply. Credit reports generally contain the following information: personal identifying data, details about your credit accounts (including current balances and payment history), and any negative financial events such as bankruptcies or collections accounts. Credit reports also reflect “hard inquiries,” which happen when you apply for a loan or other credit and gave permission for lenders to look at your credit history. 
How to establish credit with an ITIN
New immigrants to the United States should start by getting their credit report to see whether they have some credit history. If you find yourself actually “credit invisible,” you may want to check to see whether the bank you used in your home country will open an account or issue you a credit card with a U.S. branch. 
You could also try the following options to establish credit with an ITIN:
- Open a bank account. A checking or savings account can simplify your credit-building journey. Having an account from which you can write checks, pay bills online, have paychecks automatically deposited and automatic payments set up not only makes managing your personal finances easier but also may help when applying for credit. Some credit card companies require a U.S. bank account before issuing a card. 
- Apply for a secured credit card. If you need to start building credit from scratch, you may want to consider a secured credit card. Specifically designed to help build credit, secured credit cards require a cash security deposit, typically in a savings account or certificate of deposit, to open — and may not require a credit check. Your security deposit typically matches your credit limit, and you can use your card as you would any other credit card. As you pay your monthly bill, those payments — both late and on time — get reported to the credit bureaus. So be sure to pay at least your minimum monthly payment on time to avoid having late payments reported.
- Get a credit builder loan. A credit builder loan helps you to build credit history, but it works differently than traditional installment loans. You don’t get a lump sum after you sign your agreement and then pay it back in installments. Instead, you make your monthly payments first, which are put into a certificate of deposit (CD) or savings account, and you get your lump sum (minus interest and fees) as soon as all of your payments are made. Your payments get reported to the credit bureaus. You build both savings and credit.
- Become an authorized user on someone’s account. Another way to build credit involves becoming an authorized user on a friend or family member’s credit card. When looking for someone to add you as an authorized user, be sure that person pays the account as agreed, has had the account open for a while and maintains a low credit utilization ratio (CUR; the total revolving debt on the account divided by their credit limit). If so, the individual’s good credit habits may positively impact your credit score.Otherwise, becoming an authorized user could hurt your credit.
- Use a rent reporting service to report rent payments. Even if you don’t have credit accounts, you probably have monthly bills like rent, cell phone service and utilities. If you pay your bills on time, you could put that positive payment history to work for you by using a paid service, such as LevelCredit, that reports bill payments that don’t typically show up on your credit report. 
- Make on-time payments for credit you have. No matter how you choose to start building credit, remember to always pay your monthly loans and credit card payments by the due date. Since payment history counts for 35% to 41% of your credit score (depending on which model is used), it can play an important role in helping better your credit.
Check your credit report and score frequently
Monitoring your credit report and score regularly helps you keep tabs on your credit-building efforts, find out where you fall on the credit score range, identify errors that may harm your credit and even spot identity theft fraud. No matter what kind of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) you have, you may find Self’s Credit Builder Account and secured credit card useful in building credit or establishing credit for the first time.
- AnnualCreditReport.com. “Frequently asked questions,” https://www.annualcreditreport.com/generalQuestions.action. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Individual Taxpayer Identification Number,” https://www.irs.gov/individuals/individual-taxpayer-identification-number. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Internal Revenue Service. “Taxpayer Identification Numbers,” https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/taxpayer-identification-numbers-tin. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Where can I get my credit score?” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/where-can-i-get-my-credit-score-en-316. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Experian. “Can You Check Your Credit Score Without a Social Security Number?” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/can-you-check-your-credit-score-without-a-social-security-number. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- TransUnion. “Get your credit report by mail or phone,” https://www.transunion.com/get-credit-report/mail-or-phone. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- MyEquifax. “Let’s get started,” https://my.equifax.com/consumer-registration/UCSC/index.html#/personal-info. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Equifax. “How can I get a free Equifax credit report?” https://www.equifax.com/personal/help/free-equifax-credit-report. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “How do I get a copy of my credit reports?” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-get-a-copy-of-my-credit-reports-en-5. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Federal Trade Commission. “Free Credit Reports,” https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/free-credit-reports. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Experian. “What Does It Mean to Be Credit Invisible?” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-does-being-credit-invisible-mean. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Experian. “5 Ways Immigrants Can Build Credit in the United States,” https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-can-immigrants-build-credit. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- Equifax. “What is a Credit Report and What Does it Include?” https://www.equifax.com/personal/education/credit/report/what-is-a-credit-report-and-what-does-it-include. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
- TransUnion. “Building Credit as an Immigrant,” https://www.transunion.com/blog/credit-advice/building-credit-as-an-immigrant. Accessed on August 16, 2022.
About the author
Ana Gonzalez-Ribeiro, MBA, AFC® is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and a Bilingual Personal Finance Writer and Educator dedicated to helping populations that need financial literacy and counseling. Her informative articles have been published in various news outlets and websites including Huffington Post, Fidelity, Fox Business News, MSN and Yahoo Finance. She also founded the personal financial and motivational site www.AcetheJourney.com and translated into Spanish the book, Financial Advice for Blue Collar America by Kathryn B. Hauer, CFP. Ana teaches Spanish or English personal finance courses on behalf of the W!SE (Working In Support of Education) program has taught workshops for nonprofits in NYC.
Our goal at Self is to provide readers with current and unbiased information on credit, financial health, and related topics. This content is based on research and other related articles from trusted sources. All content at Self is written by experienced contributors in the finance industry and reviewed by an accredited person(s).