How To Get a Free Credit Report
The three major U.S. credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion compile extensive consumer financial data that is assembled into credit reports that are widely used by banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, auto lenders, and many other individuals and organizations.
These credit reports are designed to represent the creditworthiness of a potential borrower to a lender, and include the individual’s borrowing history, repayment history, and FICO credit score. Because they directly impact the degree of borrowing and lending in America, credit reports play a major role in the American economy.
Is There Such a Thing as a Free Credit Report?
Whenever an individual applies for credit – whether it be through a new credit card, a mortgage, an auto loan, or an installment/personal loan – it is a virtual certainty that a lender will refer to the applicant’s credit report. What’s more – background checks conducted by utility companies, insurance companies, potential landlords – and even potential employers – will frequently involve referencing an individual’s credit report.
With so much riding on the strength of a healthy and accurate credit report, it makes sense that it is important for everyone to pay close attention to their own credit reports. But how? Thankfully, we are all eligible to receive an annual free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Get Free Credit Reports Here
Visit annual credit report to request a free credit report from each of Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, every twelve months. In order to verify your identity, you will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. Importantly, it is a very worthwhile idea to stagger your annual free credit reports throughout the year, ordering one free credit report every four months – rather than requesting all three free credit reports at the same time.
In this way, you can monitor your various credit reports on an ongoing basis, and be in position to spot any inaccuracies. You should know that annual credit report does not provide FICO credit scores – but it is absolutely the best website to visit if you are looking for a free credit score report. In fact, it is the only authorized website for free credit reports. Be cautious of other websites offering free credit reports – these may be free for a limited time only before charging fees in the future.
You can also request annual free credit reports by calling 877-322-8228. Remember – it is essential to periodically review your free credit reports to ensure that they each remain an accurate reflection of your borrowing and repayment history. The details included within your free credit reports will change on an ongoing basis as lenders report specifics related to your borrowings and repayments to the credit reporting agencies.
In the event that you do spot an inaccuracy on any of your annual free credit reports, promptly contact the appropriate credit bureau and file a dispute.
Additional Ways to Receive a Free Credit Report
When an individual experiences an adverse action – such as a denial (or unfavorable change in terms) of credit, insurance, or employment – and that adverse action is based on information included within a credit report, the impacted individual is entitled to a free credit report from the credit reporting agency identified in the notice of adverse action.
However, the free credit report must be requested within sixty days of receiving any adverse action notice. Another situation that allows an individual to get a free credit report is when a credit card holder suspects fraud or identity theft. In an instance of possible fraud, one of the first steps to take is to contact Experian, Equifax or TransUnion and report any suspicious activity.
In the case of an initial fraud alert, an individual is entitled to one free credit report, and this report should be reviewed closely to make certain that it excludes any and all fraudulent activity. In the instance of an extended fraud alert, the individual is entitled to two free credit reports. Finally, those individuals who are unemployed but will be applying for employment within sixty days can request a free credit report, as well as those individuals who are recipients of public welfare assistance.
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