The credit report is your financial report card, listing your present and past credit lines, how much money you owe on each line, and whether you have paid those bills on time or late. This document can determine lending decisions, insurance rates, and even apartment rental rates. The credit score, a three-digit number between 300 and 850, indicates how risky you are as a borrower.
To ensure accuracy of information, it's important to check your report frequently. Identity theft can happen when a person looks mischievous, such as when a person is stealing someone's identity. How can I access my free credit report?
If you have a credit score that is easily obtainable through financial institutions, lenders, and third-party credit monitors, you may have to do a little extra work for your credit report. You can access free credit reports from the three major credit bureaus every week.
How can I request a credit report from an annualCreditReport.com or by calling the verified phone number 1 877-322-8228. It's likely to be a fraud if another source claims to have your credit report in exchange for personal information. Double-check when you go to the website to make sure you're on the right page. Scam sites aim to make their sites look legitimate.
If you want one, two, or all three credit reports, you'll need to fill out one submittal form on the website. The form will ask for your name, address, last address, and Social Security number if you've lived at your current address for less than two years.
Then, you have to select which credit bureaus you want to report from. Debt bureaus receive information from creditors about our credit history, but they don't have all the same information, which can lead to slight differences in the credit history recorded by each agency.
To verify your identity, you must answer three or four multiple-choice questions before you can see your report. The data on these questions is taken from your credit report. They are designed to be tricky. If you have 5 minutes, you can answer the questions.
If you request a report from more than one credit bureau, you'll have to complete this step for each.
The site will produce your credit report within a few seconds. If you request a report over the phone, it will be sent by mail and could take up to 15 days to arrive.
The report is divided into five sections:
•• Hard inquiries: If you applied for a new credit card or loan in the last two years, the name of the lender will appear with the date of the inquiry and the date it is set to expire.
If something looks wrong, file a dispute.
If any of the details, such as a date, balance, or payment, looks inaccurate - or if there's an entirely unrecognizable account - you can file a dispute directly from the online report or by calling the credit bureau's helpline.
Should you choose one of the bureaus, all three offer paid identity-monitoring services. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax's credit reporting services include unlimited credit reports, email alerts when someone applies for credit in your name, and ID theft insurance.
Print or save a copy for your records.
You can either print a copy or save a PDF version for your records. If your session expires without you accessing your credit report, you will have to wait until the next time your credit report is available.
There are other circumstances in which you can get free credit reports.
If your application is rejected or another 'adverse action' notice is received, you will receive a free credit report from the agency that the lender used to review your credit. You must apply for this credit report within 60 days of the initial rejection notice. Other adverse actions may result in denial of insurance or employment as a result of information on your credit report.
If you suspect you have been the victim of identity theft, you can request a credit report. If you place a initial fraud alert on your credit, you can receive a free credit report from each bureau in addition to the annual free reports you usually receive. Credit bureaus must verify your identity when they receive a request to open a new line of credit. The alerts last a year, at which point you can place another alert on your credit.
Along with these free reports, you can also sign up for a credit monitoring service or an identity theft protection service. The credit reporting services will alert you of any changes to your credit records and may provide regular credit reports. While some of these sites charge a lot, there's a wealth of free credit report resources out there for you to take advantage of. Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, provides its own free credit monitoring service that can also provide you with a copy of your credit report every 30 days.