Credit report include details about the history of bill payment, current debt, loans, and other such financial details about you. They reveal where you live and work, and also, if you have been filed for being bankrupt, sued or arrested.
Credit reports are used by lenders to decide whether or not to approve you for credit or a loan and set the interest rate to be charged from you. Others who look into your credit report include insurers, prospective employers, and owners of rental property.
It is crucial that you must check your credit report on a regular basis to make sure your financial details and personal information are accurately represented and that no one has opened fraudulent accounts in your name. If you find errors in the credit report, you must take appropriate action.
Free Credit Report:
There are three main credit reporting agencies in the U.S. – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Every US citizen is entitled by law to receive a free credit report from these three agencies, once every 12 months. You can ask for these credit reports from all three agencies at one time or space them throughoutthe 12 months.
How to Get Free Credit Reports
- You can get it online at AnnualCreditReport.com
- You can contact on the phone: call 877-322-8228
- Fill out a form from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and send it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
The quickest route is AnnualCreditReport.com. You will need to provide your social security number, name and other personal details known only to you (amount of car payment or when your home was refinanced). After doing this, you can ask for one, two or all three free credit reports. If you desire the credit report by snail mail or phone, you will have to wait for a longer time, such as 15 days from the date of the request. If you use the mail in the form at FTC, it may take two to three weeks. Whatever may be the method, your credit report may be delayed if credit reporting agency needs more details to establish your identity.
You may be eligible for extra free credit reports from the agencies. As per Federal Law, you can get a second report within the 12-month period in the cases where you are:
- Unemployed and seeking employment in the next 60 days.
- Getting public assistance.
- Have been refused by credit, insurance, oremployment agencies because of details in your credit report (known as adverse action).
- A victim of identity theft and other such fraud.
For getting such credit reports you can contact:
- Equifax, P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, 800-685-1111
- TransUnion, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022, 800-916-8800
- Experian, P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013-0949, 888-397-3742
Errors in Credit Report:
If you find errors in your credit report, frame a letter that disputes the errors and send it to:
- Credit reporting agency
- Provider of information (credit card/ bank/ other sources of inaccurate information)
As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both information providers and credit reporting agencies have the responsibility for correcting incomplete or incorrect information in your credit report.
If errors are not corrected despite your efforts, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
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