Rights to Free Credit Reporting
by Contributing Writer
A credit report is a history of your credit that helps lenders and prospective employers see how much debt you have and whether or not you pay your bills on time. The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles everyone to one free credit report per year from each of the major credit reporting agencies.
Annual Credit Report
The Federal Trade Commission has authorized one source for free credit reports--AnnualCreditReport.com. You can order online, by phone at (877) 322-8228 or through the mail at Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
No Hidden Fees or Memberships
Unlike other credit report offers that charge you a fee or require you to sign up for a monthly service, AnnualCreditReport.com is completely free.
Other Times You Have a Right to a Free Report
If a company denies you credit, you are unemployed and seeking a job, you are on welfare, or you have reason to believe your report is inaccurate due to fraud, you are also entitled to a free credit report.
Get 3 Free Reports Per Year
Since you can request one free credit report each year from each of the three agencies, it is smart to spread them out. Example: Order from Experian in January, Equifax in May and TransUnion in September.
Information You Need to Provide
To get your credit report, you need to provide your name, address (and possibly your previous address) and Social Security number.