How to Report a Death to Credit Bureaus
After the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to think about anything else. At the same time, there are tasks that need to be taken care of and notifying credit bureaus of a death is one of the important ones. This article will discuss how to report a death to different credit bureaus and what information you need in order to do so.
Does Social Security notify credit bureaus of a death?
The Social Security Administration does notify credit bureaus periodically, but only notifies credit bureaus of those who were receiving Social Security benefits and others who have already had their death reported to the Social Security Administration. (This notification is usually handled by the funeral home you're working with.) However, it's still a good idea to notify the credit bureaus directly since this isn’t a certainty. Notifying the credit bureaus yourself will give you peace of mind.
How to notify credit bureaus of a death
Reporting a death to credit bureaus is quite simple and can be accomplished by either submitting a form online (only Experian allows you to upload the form online) or by mailing in a letter and requested documentation. You only need to notify one of the credit bureaus and they'll handle reporting the death to the other two credit bureaus.
To notify the credit bureau of the death, you'll need to send a letter and documentation to the bureau.
Here's the documentation you'll need to mail in:
- A copy of the death certificate
- Documentation showing that you're legally authorized to act on the decedent's behalf (this is typically a document with a court seal that shows you're the administrator or executor of the estate)
- A letter explaining the death and that you'd like them to notify the other agencies and update the record (you can find a sample notification of death letter to credit reporting agencies near the end of this article)
Once you've gathered this documentation, here's where you need to mail it:
Experian death notification address: Experian's Consumer Assistance Center, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 7501 (or upload it here).
TransUnion death notification address: TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.
Equifax death notification address: Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 105139, Atlanta, GA 30348-5139.
How do I know if I am responsible for reporting a death to credit agencies?
Only legal representatives (such as an estate executor or appointed administrator) and the spouse can report a death to the different credit agencies. If you're not acting in one of these capacities, you are not responsible for reporting a death to credit bureaus.
Are there other ways to notify credit bureaus of a death?
Mailing in a physical letter with the required documentation is the only official way to notify the credit agencies of a death, other than the online form that Experian uses. If you choose to call the credit bureaus, they can list a note in the record but you’ll still need to mail in the documentation (or upload it, if using Experian).
Am I responsible for notifying all credit agencies of a death?
Technically you only need to notify one of the credit agencies of the death. Once you notify one credit agency of the death, they will notify the other two credit bureaus, so there's no need to contact the other two. You can still send out a notification to all three credit agencies if you want to triple ensure you've covered all the bases, but it's not necessary.
Sample letter to credit bureau to report a death
When you've gathered the required documentation and are ready to send out a notification of death letter to the credit bureaus, here's a template you can use.
Sample notification of death letter to credit reporting agencies
[Your full name]
[Your mailing address]
Dear [Name of credit bureau],
I am writing to inform you of the death of [full name]. My name is [full name] and I am the deceased's [state your relationship]. I am the [executor/administrator/legal authority] regarding [decedent's first name] affairs. I have included documentation showing this relationship. I am requesting that [his/her/their] file be updated and that their death be listed in their file. Here is [his/her] information:
Name: [Their full name]
Date of birth: [date]
Social Security Number: [Number]
Date of death: [date]
I have enclosed a copy of the death certificate. Thank you for your help. If you need to contact me, please call me at [phone number] or email me at [email].