So you have probably heard that you should check your credit report routinely, but why? There is actually 3 good reasons to do this:
- Your ability to get a loan and the amount that you will have to pay to borrow the money
- To ensure that the information reported for you is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for to purchase items like a car, house, insurance, or even to apply for a job.
- To guard yourself against identity theft. If someone uses your personal information to commit fraud and then you don’t pay the bills, the account is reported as delinquent on your credit report. This could affect your ability to get credit or even get the job you applied for.
How do I get a copy of my credit report?
FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
The three nationwide credit reporting companies have set up one website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. You can use the form in this brochure, or you can print it from ftc.gov/credit. Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies individually. They are providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, and Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
What if a company denies me credit or I am not eligible for a job because of my credit, can I get another report?
You are entitled to a free report if for any reason a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying you credit, insurance, or employment, based on the information contained in your credit report. You must ask for the report within 60 days of receiving the notice. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company.
You’re also entitled to more than one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
Otherwise, a credit reporting company may charge you up to $11.00 for another copy of your report within a 12-month period. To buy a copy of your report, contact: