Since September of 2005 you are entitled to a free credit report as a citizen of the United States. The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act has been amended and now states that each consumer credit reporting agency, which are Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, provide to you a free credit report once every 12 months. So don’t let any of the credit reporting agencies scam you into buying something to access your free annual credit report. You will have to give them your name, social security number, address, and date of birth to get your free credit report.
The credit agencies have some very misleading advertisements which can easily get you signed up for a paid service if you are not careful. There are many of these types of advertisements out there so don’t let them get you signed up for something you don’t want just to get your free credit report. Your free annual credit report is only accessible from one website online that is legitimate. The address to that website is annualcreditreport.com. If you are not careful and misspell the websites address you could easily be misdirected to a website that offers free credit reports only to get you to buy some other product.
As an alternative to ordering online the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies have set up one central toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual credit report. To order your free credit report call 877-322-8228, or complete the Free Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Remember not to contact any of the three reporting agencies directly to get your free credit report. They will not provide you with the free annual credit report.
You will have to verify information that is contained in your credit file in order to get your free credit report. Each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies require you to do this for security. You will be asked to verify information such as the year you took out a mortgage or possibly how much you borrowed. Since each agency obtains their information from different sources each will more than likely ask you different questions. You may be asked to purchase a product or a service but you are not required to in order to get your free annual credit report.
If you want to see your free credit report right away than you need to order your free annual credit report through the website. Be sure to answer each one of the security questions accurately or you will be denied immediate access to ensure the security of your file. If that were to happen than the reporting agency will mail your free annual credit report. Your free credit report will be mailed within fifteen days of the agencies receiving your request whether or not it was by phone or mail.
If you have already received your free credit reports and need another before the 12 month period is over you may still be able to get another free credit report. Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free credit report if a company takes adverse action against you such as denying your application for credit and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice. You are also entitled to a free credit report if you are the victim of identify theft and place a fraud alert in your file, your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud, you are on public assistance, or you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
Here is the contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting agencies: * TransUnion: 800-916-8800; http://www.transunion.com * Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742); http://www.experian.com * Equifax: 800-685-1111; http://www.equifax.com You can contact them directly to purchase a credit report if none of the free credit report options are available to you. They charge approximately ten dollars each for your credit report.