Do you want to take out a credit, request a loan or apply for a credit card in the United States? Or maybe you just want to know how much financial institutions know about you and your finances. then you need to know how to get a copy of your free credit report
Here we will show you how you can request a free copy of your credit report, also known as credit bureau consultation. We show you in a simple way how you can get a free credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, which are the 3 agencies in charge of generating credit reports.
If you already have a credit history and want to improve it, don’t forget to read our guide to raising your credit score fast.
- 1 What is a credit report for?
- 2 How to order your free credit report
- 3 A Warning About “Imposter” Websites
- 4 What information do I need to provide to get my free credit report?
- 5 Why do I want a copy of my credit report?
- 6 How long does it take for my free credit report to arrive?
- 7 What if I find errors on my credit report?
What is a credit report for?
The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to credit reporting companies.
How to order your free credit report
Don’t contact the three national credit reporting companies individually if you don’t want to pay. They provide free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 1-877-322-8228, or by mail.
You can order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, but you’ll have to pay a fee. As stated, the law allows you to request a free copy of your report from each of the credit reporting companies across the country every 12 months. You can view your credit history for free online, by phone, or by mail. These three options for requesting a bureau report are detailed below.
Request free credit report in Spanish
The credit report is not available in Spanish. It is only possible to access the credit report in English.
A Warning About “Imposter” Websites
Only one website is authorized to order the free annual credit report to which you are entitled by law: annualcreditreport.com. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or “free credit monitoring” are not part of the free annual credit report program required by law. In some cases, the “free” product comes with strings attached.
For example, some sites sign you up for a supposedly “free” service that turns into one you have to pay for after a trial period. If you don’t cancel during the trial period, you may inadvertently agree to the company starting to charge fees to your credit card.
Some “imposter” sites use terms like “free report” in their names; others have URLs that purposefully misspell annualcreditreport.com in the hope that you’ll misspell the name of the official site. Some of these “imposter” sites direct you to other sites that are trying to sell you something or collect your personal information.
Annualcreditreport.com and the national credit reporting companies will not send you an email asking for your personal information.
If you receive an email, see a pop-up ad, or receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from annualcreditreport.com or any of the three national credit reporting companies, do not respond to or click on any links in the message. It’s probably a scam.
What information do I need to provide to get my free credit report?
You need to provide your name, address, social security number and date of birth. If you’ve moved in the last two years, you may need to provide your old address. To keep your file safe, each national credit reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has on file may come from different sources.
Why do I want a copy of my credit report?
Your credit report has information that affects your ability to get a loan, and how much you’ll have to pay to get it. You might want a copy of the free credit report to:
Make sure your information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before applying for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buying insurance, or applying for a job.
Help protect you against identity theft. It’s when someone uses your personal information – like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number – to commit fraud. Identity thieves can use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.
How long does it take for my free credit report to arrive?
If you request your report online at annualcreditreport.com, you should be able to access it immediately. If you request the report by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, your report will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days.
You can also request the report by mail using the Annual Credit Report Request Form, and your request will be processed and mailed within 15 days of receipt.
Whether you order your report online, by phone, or by mail, it may take longer to receive your report if the credit bureau needs more information to verify your identity.
What if I find errors on my credit report?
Under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information. of your report.
To take full advantage of your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company to dispute your credit report and information provider. Tell the credit reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate.
Credit bureaus must investigate your dispute
Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question – usually within 30 days – unless they consider your dispute to be unfounded or inaccurate.
They must also forward any relevant information you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the credit reporting company, they must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results to the credit reporting company.
If the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, they must notify all three credit reporting companies across the country so they can correct the information in your file.
How does the dispute of errors in your credit report end?
When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. Please note that this free report does not count as your free annual report.
If an item is changed or deleted, the credit reporting company cannot put the disputed information back on your file unless the provider of the information verifies that it is accurate and complete.
The credit reporting company must also send you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
Tell the creditor or other information provider in writing that you dispute an item. Many providers specify an address for disputes. If the provider reports the item to a credit reporting company, you must include a notice of your dispute. And if you are right, that is, if the information is found to be incorrect, the information provider will not be able to re-report it.