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How do I get my credit report?

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act entitles you to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. Each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) are required to provide a copy of your credit report once a year, upon your request, so by staggering the requests it is possible to check your credit report for free once every four months. Requesting your own credit report will not impact your credit or lower your score.

You’re also entitled to a free credit report if you’re unemployed and looking for work, are receiving public assistance, have filed a fraud alert, or when someone uses the information in your file to take adverse action against you. This includes denying you credit, a rental home, a checking or savings account, insurance or a job. The company or individual must provide you with a “notice of adverse action,” which includes the reasons you were denied, along with the source of the report (name, address and phone number of the credit reporting agency). The reasons provided for denying your request must be specific—for example, “number of delinquencies in your credit history” or “balances on your revolving accounts are too high.” Request your free report from the source within 60 days of receiving the notice.

If you’re not entitled to a free report, there may be a small fee of around $8 to $10.

You can order your free report at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228. Or you can mail a copy of the downloadable Annual Credit Report Request Form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Learn more about credit reports in Consumer Action's Credit Report and Credit Scores and on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt156.shtm.

 
 
 
 

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