Being aware of the information in your credit reports is a huge step in the right direction. Positive and negative information influence your credit history and especially your credit scores. Knowing the information that exists about your credit history can help you make better decisions.
There are several ways to get a free credit report:
Denial of Credit
The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that you are entitled to a credit report if you have been denied credit due to information in your credit report. You can request a free credit report from the credit reporting agency which denied you within 60 days of learning that you were denied.
The FACT Act
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows consumers to get a free credit report from each credit reporting agency once every 12 months. Consumers can request one, two or all three of their credit reports at one time from AnnualCreditReport.com.
AnnualCreditReport is the Central Source set up by the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. You may contact the Central Source by visiting:
- You can request by phone and call 877 FACTACT
- You can complete the Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
When you order, you will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information on your credit report, such as the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score. An educational credit score will be offered at a cost but this is not your true FICO credit score that is used by most banks and lenders. MyFico.com is where you can get the actual credit score used by most banks and lenders.
Seeking Employment or Unemployed
You can get a free credit report within 60 days of seeking employment. You must contact the credit reporting agencies and inform them you will begin seeking employment and you need a free credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If you have been denied employment based upon information, in whole or part, in your credit reports you are entitled to a free credit report rom the credit reporting agency where the information was obtained.
Receiving government assistance such as welfare entitles you to a free credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Fraud or Identity Theft
If you have reason to believe your credit reports are inaccurate due to fraud or identity theft you are entitled to free credit reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.