How to Get A Free Credit Report
a Federal law the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires
each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting
agencies to provide you with a free copy
of your credit report, at your request, once
Credit reports contains information about where
you live, how you pay your bills, and whether
you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
When they run a credit report- a creditor,
insurer, employer, and other businesses is actually buying your credit report from a consumer credit reporting agencies.
Credit reports are used to evaluate your application
for creditemployment, or renting
The three nationwide consumer
reporting companies are Equifax, Experian, and
Free credit reports are being e phased in during a nine-month
September 1, 2005, free reports will be accessible
to all Americans, regardless of where they
New law for Free Credit Report Schedule
Starting December 1, 2004:
Consumers in the Western
states — Alaska,
Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho,
Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah,
Washington, and Wyoming — can order their
free reports beginning
Consumers in the Midwestern
states — Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South
Dakota, and Wisconsin — can order their free
June 1, 2005:
Consumers in the Southern
states — Alabama,
Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee,
and Texas — can order their free reports.
Consumers in the Eastern
states — Connecticut,
Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont,
Virginia, and West Virginia — the District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories
can order their free reports .
The three nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies
have set up one central website, toll-free
telephone number, and mailing address through
which you can order your free
annual credit report. To order, click on www.annualcreditreport.com,
call 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.
reports from each of the three nationwide
consumer credit reporting agencies at the same time,
or you can order from only one or two. The
law allows you to order one free copy from
each of the nationwide consumer reporting
companies every 12 months.
Provide your name, address, Social
Security number, and date of birth. If you
have moved in the last two years, you may
have to provide your previous address. To
maintain the security of your file, each nationwide
consumer reporting company may ask you for
some information that only you would know,
like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.
Each company may ask you for different information
because the information each has in your file
may come from different sources.
Consumer credit reporting agencies
will not send you an email asking for your
personal information. If you get an email
or see a pop-up ad claiming it's from a consumer reporting
companies, do not reply or click on any link
in the message — it's probably a scam.
When You Review Your Credit Report Look For:
- loan information —
how much you will have to pay to borrow
- make sure all the information is accurate,
complete, and up-to-date before .
- to help guard against identity theft look for other who have ordered a credit report, if you did not authorize immediately let the consumer credit agency know!.
Under federal law, you are entitled to a free
report more than just once a year if application for
creditor employment is denied and you
make a request for the report within 60 days. the denial of credit report lists name, address, and phone number of
the consumer reporting agency issuing the credit report which caused the denial of credit.
Also, if you are 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, you are entitled to free credit report under the new law.
Otherwise, a consumer credit reporting
agency can charge you up to $9.50 for another
copy of your report within a year.
Consumer Credit Agency Contact Info:
It is advisable to get a report from all three credit bureaus because they obtain credit information from different sources
Correcting Errors on Your Credit Repout
- Report the error in writing to the credit bureau.
Consumer credit reporting agencies are required by federal law to investigate errors reported to them within
30 days, unless they consider your dispute
They must forward error report to the
company or organization who reported the problem
The consumer reporting agency
must investigate the result received from the reporting company to determine if an error has occurred and if one is found it must correct your records and notify
all other nationwide consumer reporting
companies so they too can correct the information
in your file.
the Credit agency must give you a copy of the results of their investigation. a free copy of
your report if the dispute results in
a change. (This free report does not count
as your annual free report)
If an investigation doesn't resolve your
dispute with the consumer reporting agency,
you can ask that a statement of the dispute
be included in your file and in future reports about the dispute-- you get to tell your side of the story and it becomes part of your credit report.
Be sure to ask the consumer reporting
agency to provide your statement to anyone
who received a copy of your credit report in the
recent past. they are allowed to charge you a free for this service.
Consumer credit reporting agencies report
most negative credit information for seven
years and bankruptcy information for 10
about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against
you can be reported for seven years or until
the statute of limitations runs out, whichever
There is no time limit on reporting
information about criminal convictions;
information reported in response to your
application for a job that pays more than
$75,000 a year; and information reported
because you've applied for more than $150,000
worth of credit or life insurance.
those which you authorizer and creditors,
insurers, employers, and other businesses
that use the information in your report
to evaluate your applications for credit,
insurance, employment, or renting a home
are among those that have a legal right
to access your report.
A Few Comments On Credit Repair Companies
Over the past fifteen years or so, many "Credit
Repair Companies" or "Credit Clinics" have opened up across the nation.
Their main purpose is to help the individual remove incorrect and negative
items from their credit report. Unfortunately, some of these outfits are
scams from the word "GO" and have given the whole industry a bad name. They
take the consumer's money and then tell them it will take month s to get
results, then disappear without a trace. With the information we have
provided you with here, you have no need to take that chance. If, however,
you decide to hire one of these companies, check them out!
First, if the sales person or company uses the word
"Guarantee" or "Delete", Run and don't look back! There is no way to
"Guarantee" that ANYTHING will be removed from the credit report! Think
about it for a minute. Unless he or she is going to "hack" into the credit
bureau's computer, how can he guarantee anything? The Clinic is NOT the one
that "deletes" the information!
Ask to see their license, get a copy of it, and then
contact your State's Secretary of State to make sure that the company has
obtained and maintained the necessary license and/or bond. In the State of
Nebraska all companies, organizations, or individuals that provide credit
services MUST (with NO exceptions) obtain a "Credit Services Organization
License". If they charge a fee BEFORE they provide the services they
promise, they MUST also maintain a $100,000 Surety Bond for TWO YEARS after
they cease doing business in the state. While you are on the phone with the
Secretary of State's office, ask if there have been any unresolved
complaints against the company. Find out how long they have had their
license as well.
There have been a number of credit clinics that
guarantee to remove any derogatory items from consumer's credit report.
Contact the Attorney General's office in your state
as well, see if there have been any complaints and find out if they are
under any kind of investigation. The Better Business Bureau is also another
good organization to check. My company wasn't just LISTED with the BBB, we
where actually members of the organization as well.
More Family Finance Articles
Credit and Home Ownership
Choosing a Bank
Debt Relief Guide
Life Insurance Buying Guide
Free Credit Report
Credit Card Fraud
Identity Theft- Prevention and Action