Posted September 25, 2016 by Thomas Burns
Free Credit Reports
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year. Learn about other situations in which you can request a free credit report.
Request your free credit report:
Online: Visit AnnualCreditReport.com
By Phone: Call 1-877-322-8228. Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TTY service by calling 711 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232.
By Mail: Complete theAnnual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If your request for a free credit report is denied:
Contact the credit reporting agency (CRA) directly to try and resolve the issue. The CRA should inform you of the reason they denied your request and explain what to do next. Often, you will only need to provide information that was missing or incorrect on your application for a free credit report.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute with the CRA, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
A credit score is a number that rates your credit risk at one point in time. It can help creditors determine whether to give you credit, decide the terms you are offered, or the rate you will pay for the loan. Having a high score can benefit you in many ways, including making it easier for you to obtain a loan, rent an apartment, and lower your insurance rate.
The information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. That’s why it’s important to make sure your credit report is accurate. You can have multiple credit scores, created by different companies or lenders that use their own credit scoring system.
Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score, but it’s available for a fee. When you buy your score, you often get information on how you can improve it.
Credit Reporting Agencies
A credit reporting agency (CRA) is a company that collects information about where you live and work, how you pay your bills, whether or not you have been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. All of this information is combined together in a credit report. A CRA will then sell your credit report to creditors, employers, insurers, and others. These companies will use these reports to make decisions about extending credit, jobs, and insurance policies to you.
You are entitled to order (every 12 months) a free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) through AnnualCreditReport.com. This website is the only one that is government authorized to provide you with free copies of your credit report.
You can also contact the credit agencies directly if you need to dispute information in your report, place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file, or have other questions.
• Equifax or by phone at 1-866-349-5191
• Experian or by phone at 1-888-397-3742
• TransUnion or by phone at 1-800-916-8800
h the credit reporting agency (CRA) and the information provider are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report.
If the errors have not been corrected after you’ve disputed them in writing, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).