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The federal law entitles everyone to get a copy of the free credit report once in a year. This free credit report government can be accessed by every American consumer by placing a request by phone, mail or online at the official website, AnnualCreditReport.com. There are three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion that prepare your credit report.
Every twelve months the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you a free credit report from the three widely used credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. This is to allow to check your credit at least once a year for errors or suspicious purchases, or debts you have incurred.
Because your credit free report is used to get you cars, jobs, buying homes, even renting homes it is vital to check it regularly in order to maintain a good credit score. Also, checking your credit report is the best way to catch and stop identity theft. You can order your three reports all at once, or space them out during the year. By ordering them throughout the year, you can monitor your credit report more closely.
Viewing your credit report regularly can help you correct inaccuracies quickly so that when you go to apply for anything that uses your credit report, they get the most accurate information possible. If you notice suspicious purchases you can place a fraud alert on your credit free report, close unused accounts, notify the Federal Trade Commission, and file a police report. A good place to start if you suspect identity theft is the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft website.
The credit bureau must give you all the information tied into your credit free report. Such information includes your identification, job history, name, birthday, and Social Security Number. Other information includes your payment history, a list of creditors who’ve asked for a credit history in the last year, as well as any other businesses or individuals who’ve requested a credit history. Matters of public record, such as bankruptcy and tax liens will also be found on your credit report.
The three major credit reporting companies have now consolidated their efforts into one website, phone number, and mailing address in order to make getting your credit free report easier. By using annualcreditreport.com you can order your free credit report without worrying about scams or fraudulent claims.
To get your free credit report you may have to provide information to prove you are who you claim to be. That information will be name, birthday, social security number and address. You may also be asked for your previous address or for information only you would know in order to protect you from others trying to get a copy of your credit report.
You are also entitled to a free credit report if a company takes some negative action against because of a credit check. Such action could be denying applications for loans, jobs, or insurance. You must ask for a copy of your free credit report within 60 days of such action being taken. If you are on welfare or need a fresh copy of your credit report because of correcting inaccuracies or because you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you are also qualified for a free credit report. You may request copies of your credit report more often; however there will be a charge applied if you do not meet any of the specifications to qualify for a free one.
The credit report government contains four sections – personal information, financial information, Inquiries and Collections. These four together make up your credit history. But the biggest drawback of this credit report is that it does not contain the credit score. Lenders and all financial institutions use credit score to determine your financial status at a glance. It is calculated by taking all aspects of your financial history into consideration.
For a layman too, unless the credit score is present, it is not an easy task to make sense of the credit report. You will have to scrutinize each and every entry carefully to understand how good your credit rating is.
Another drawback of the free credit report government is that it is available only once in a year. Though each of the three credit bureaus are legally bound to provide the consumer with a report, accessing only one report at a time, gives an incomplete picture of the credit rating. When all the three reports are accessed at the same time, the consumer has to purchase another credit report, when he requires it later within the same year.
These reports are compiled from the information provided by numerous financial agencies, like banks, lenders, creditors, et al. Do not be surprised if something has been incorrectly reported or reflected on your free credit report government. According to a statistics, approximately 70% of the reports contain errors. So, it is essential that you be prompt with your credit reports that are later corrected on being disputed.
But despite all this, a free credit report is an important financial document and must be reviewed and monitored periodically so as to check the credit rating. You can buy the credit reports with credit scores for a nominal monthly rate. These private companies also provide you with credit reports more than once a year along with a free credit score. So, while the credit report government is free, the credit scores are not and the reverse is true when you approach private companies.