The Fair Credit Reporting Law grants you the power to receive a free copy of your credit report from the 3 credit reporting agencies annually. This law was enacted by the Federal Trade Commission to permit individuals to audit their credit report for mistakes and misuse. The advice on requesting your free credit reports every 12 months below will help you get started.
What Do Credit Reports Detail
Every credit report incorporates personal facts and credit related activity. This includes past addresses, credit cards and loans, and monetary judgments such as a law suit or bankruptcy filing. Credit history is analyzed by lenders, employers, insurers, and others to gauge your capacity to honor a new debt. It is thus critical to confirm that your information does not have any mistakes.
Requesting Copies of Your Report
There are three major credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Each can retain somewhat distinct sets of facts on you. They also calculate scores differently. There is a central website (annualcreditreport.com) where you may receive your credit reports. You can also call them at 1-877-322-8228 or print and mail the request form found on their website. You must provide your name, date of birth, social security number, and current and past addresses to establish your identity.
Other Credit Reporting Sites
There are a wide range of additional websites that gather information from particular credit agencies and monitor activity. They notify you of any changes to your credit profile (such as the score being pulled or new accounts set up). This is useful for keeping track of your score throughout the year and catching any fraudulent activity.
CreditKarma.com is one service that provides free service and will not even require a credit card. Many other sites are broadcast as free but eventually assess a fee beyond an introductory month, so ask about the terms before registering. Also be aware of phony websites that take advantage of common misspelling of urls. These sites are established to take your identity.
Summary of Advice On Requesting Your Free Credit Reports Every 12 Months
Now that you understand the advantage of regularly reviewing credit information and advice on requesting your free credit reports every 12 months, it’s time to take action. Retrieve a copy of your report and analyze it carefully. Contact the credit bureaus to fix mistakes. For more complicated matters, consider calling a credit repair specialist for recommendations. This blog is meant merely as an introduction and must not be interpreted as legal advice.