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Get Your Credit Reports and Repair Credit

According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), each of the major consumer reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) must provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every year – if you request it. Get your credit report and repair credit by first doing a credit report check. You need to ensure that the information contained in your credit report is accurate. If it contains errors, it may negatively impact your ability to get credit or to obtain a reasonable interest rate. In other words, credit report mistakes can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.

Because the three different consumer reporting agencies collect different information, it’s important to get all three credit reports and repair each of them. However, some financial experts suggest staggering out the requests at four-month intervals to keep tabs on your credit reports throughout the year. In other words, it may be better to request one in January, one in May, and one in September rather than requesting all three at once.

When you order a credit report, you’ll get information about your credit activity, as well as a list of businesses that have accessed your credit report in the previous twelve months and a list of employment-related requests over the previous two years.

Problems and Unusual Circumstances

If you’re denied credit, insurance, or employment because of something that’s on your credit report, the law says that you’re entitled to a free copy of that report from the credit reporting agency – providing you send a written request within 60 days of being told you were denied. In addition, you can request a free copy of your credit report if you’re unemployed and are going to look for work within 60 days, if you’re receiving public assistance benefits, if you’re the victim of identity theft, or if there’s a problem on your credit report due to fraud.

Getting Your Credit Report

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can obtain your free annual credit report by phone, mail, or via the federal website, annualcreditreport.com. Obtaining an online credit report through the government portal is the fastest way to access your credit report.

If you prefer to receive your annual credit report and repair your credit through the mail (which takes two to three weeks), you can call 877-322-8228 or download the official request form at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0093-annual-report-request-form.pdf, complete it, and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

To buy a copy of your credit report or credit score, you can contact the individual credit reporting agencies:

Equifax
http://www.equifax.com

Experian
http://www.experian.com/

TransUnion
https://www.transunion.com/

When requesting your credit report (either your free annual report or one for which you pay), you’ll likely need to provide some personal information so that the credit reporting agency can confirm it’s you. They may, for example, request your Social Security number, date of birth, previous address, or the amount of a particular payment.

We hope that you find this information useful, and urge you to contact us at 203-529-5100 if you need credit report and repair services.