Did you know that you often need to present a copy of your credit report when applying for a rental property, acquiring a loan or obtaining new employment? These reports can
cost up to twenty dollars, which can be a big strain on your budget. Many consumers are not aware of the fact that they are, by law, allocated one free credit report per year from each of the top 3
reporting agencies in the business. This means there is no need to pay good money to obtain a credit report when you need it most. Simply request and receive your credit report online with a few
click of your computer mouse.
Did you know that you often need to present a copy of your credit report when applying for a rental property, acquiring a loan or obtaining new employment? These reports can cost up to twenty dollars, which can be a big strain on your budget. Many consumers are not aware of the fact that they are, by law, allocated one free credit report per year from each of the top 3 reporting agencies in the business. This means there is no need to pay good money to obtain a credit report when you need it most. Simply request and receive your credit report online with a few click of your computer mouse.
Ways to Get a Free Report
There are two primary ways to gain access to a free credit report.
1. Free Yearly Report - TransUnion, Equifax and Experian must all provide an annual credit report, at no charge, to anyone who requests one using the proper channels.
2. Adverse Action - If a company turns down your application for credit, or refuses to employ or provide insurance to you based on your credit history, the law states that you can request a free credit report within 60 days of the adverse action.
If either of the above scenarios applies to your situation, you can get a free online credit report. You can also receive an additional free report per year if you are:
Currently unemployed and preparing to look for work in the next 60 days
Currently enrolled in a government welfare program
A victim of identity theft, rendering your report inaccurate
What Your Report Contains
Anyone perusing your credit report will be able to ascertain:
Where you live
If you pay your bills on time
Whether you have filed for bankruptcy
If you have been arrested or sued
Your credit report can be viewed - for a price- by any prospective employer, creditor, insurer or business partner. The information on your report will be used by these parties to determine whether you pose a high risk for their investment. If you have a poor credit score, these parties are less likely to do business with you in the near future. For this reason, it is imperative that you know what information your credit report contains before applying for any new job, loan, property or contractual service.
How to Get your Free Report
The 3 major credit reporting agencies have teamed up to make it easy for consumers to obtain a free annual reports. There are 3 ways to access your free report:
1. Website - Use your Internet browser to obtain your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. You will be asked to supply some basic personal information. Then you will be provided links to each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Simply click on a link to the reporting agency from which you wish to receive your report. You can print out your credit report and keep it in your records for the duration of the calendar year.
2. Telephone - Call 1-877-322-8228 to speak with a customer service representative about receiving your free annual credit report. Do not attempt to contact any of the 3 major credit bureaus via their customer service telephone numbers. The above number is the only number to use in obtaining your free report.
3. Postal Service - Mail a request for your free annual credit report to P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
You will need to supply basic personal information in your request via postal mail:
Social security number
Date of birth
Previous address - If you have moved in the last 2 years
If you access your free credit report online, you can view and print it immediately. However, if you choose to request your free credit report by telephone or the postal service it can take up to 15 days to receive a copy of your report.
There are numerous sites on the Internet that purport to offer free annual credit reports. Be aware that these sites are illegitimate, and may be a scam.
The 3 major credit reporting bureaus have set up only one website, one telephone number and one mailing address by which to request a free annual credit report. Any website other than the one listed above is not an official site, and should not be trusted.
There is no need to worry or wonder what your credit report may reveal about your financial history. You are legally allotted on free credit report per year from each of the top 3 credit reporting agencies. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have teamed up to provide a streamlined means of requesting your free anual report. Simply visit the website, call the telephone number or mail in a written request for your free report.
Once you have your annual credit report in hand, you will know exactly what information your prospective lenders, employers and other business parties are will see when looking over your report from major agencies. If the information on your reports is inaccurate, you can work to correct it. If you have unpaid bills, you can begin to pay them off and restore a good credit score over time.
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