According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act a federal law passed by Congress the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, must provide you a copy of your credit report once every year, for free. You are allowed one copy of each of these credit reports or a total of three credit reports, annually. If you have already gotten your free copy for the year, then you are going to have to pay for your credit report but is a relatively low cost.
Steps To Get Your Free Credit Report
1. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/
You can also call 1-877-322-8228 or you can visit annualcreditreport.com and print up a request form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348
Do not contact Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion directly to get your free credit report. They are only going to refer you to annualcreditreport.com or provide you with the telephone number above. The only way you can get your credit report directly from Equifax, Equifax, or TransUnion is by paying them money.
2. Requesting Your Credit Report At Annualcreditreport.com
Annualcreditreport.com is the official website to request your free credit report. Once you visit their website you will need to select from a drop-down menu what state you live in, and then press the “request report” button.
3. Provide Your Personal Information
On the next screen you are going to provide your personal information including your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, current address, and a previous address if you have not lived at the same address for at least two years.
This is a secure site so you can rest assured that your information will remain safe. However you can also request your report through mail or over the telephone but you will have to provide this personal information requesting your free credit report however you choose to request it.
It’s Important To Get All 3 of Your Credit Reports
It critically important that you get all three of your credit reports because the information contained will often be different. For example it will be no surprise if you have different information on your Equifax credit report, then on your TransUnion credit report.
How Does This Happen?
There are a variety of reasons including lender mistakes, but most often it is a result of some creditors not reporting your account information to all three credit bureaus. It is important that if you find a mistake or an item that you believe is incorrect that you file a dispute and remove any errors on your credit reports.
What About My Credit Score?
Your credit score or credit rating is calculated using the information on your credit reports. To clarify you have three credit reports. One with Experian, one with a Equifax, and one with TransUnion. Using these three credit reports your FICO credit score, the most common credit rating system, will calculate your credit score.
According to the http://www.myfico.com/ their credit score is used in 90% of lending decisions. Your credit rating is very dependent upon the information on your credit reports. The two biggest factors in your credit score are your payment history which looks at all the positive and negative items on your credit report.
The other factor is how much money you owe. This is your total debt, however it is more about how much available credit you have. For example, your credit score is not going to suffer if you have a mortgage, student loans, or sizable debts. But it will suffer if all your credit cards are maxed out.
Ready to Fix Your Negative Credit?
If you have a less than perfect credit history, their is hope. There are some strict rules and regulations regarding information contained on your credit history. If you’re suffering from bad credit get expert help with a free credit consultation by calling toll-free 1-877-418-7596. For more tips and strategies with Dan Willis sign up for our free newsletter.
Get a FREE Credit Consultation