3 Free Credit Reports

3 Free Credit Reports

Each calendar year you are entitled to receive your 3 free credit reports from each credit bureau. Checking your credit reports each year is important in ensuring that you are not victim of identity theft, and that all of your current lines of credit are correctly updated.

The three credit bureaus that record your credit history are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you are also interested in receiving your credit scores, you will have to pay an additional fee to each bureau, or you can sign up with one of the many credit monitoring agencies that provide you with your credit scores.

 

Where to Get Your Free Report

To receive your free reports go to www.annualcreditreport.com for instant access or call 877-322-8228 to have your 3 free credit reports mailed to you within 15 days. When you call or go online please be prepared to provide information that verifies your identity such as:

  • Social security number.
  • Current of former employer.
  • Current or former lines of credit.
  • Current or past addresses.

 

Information Your 3 Free Credit Reports Will Provide

 

If you have not accessed your credit reports before, they will provide you with valuable information such as:

 

  • Current personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, most recent address, and current employer.
  • Current credit lines such as loans, credit cards, mortgages, or any accounts that have been sent to collection.
  • Closed or inactive lines of credit. Please note that these will stay on your credit report for 7-11 years.
  • The date each line of credit or account was opened, current balance, and if you have paid on time.
  • Companies you have given written permission to access your credit history or score for the past 2 years. Examples of these would be when you apply for a new line of credit, apply for an apartment, sign up for new insurance, or if you give consent for an employer to access your credit.
  • Matters of public record that effect your financial status such as past due child support, liens, or bankruptcies.

 

What to Do If Something is Incorrect on Your Report

 

If you find something on your report that is incorrect or that someone has accessed your credit history without your consent you need to file a dispute and may want to place a fraud alert on your accounts.

 

If you accessed your 3 free credit reports online and need to file a fraud alert, you can simply click the button from the drop down menu that states “File a Dispute”. You can also contact each agency by phone or mail. It is also best to contact the source of the incorrect information as soon as possible. For example; if a credit card has been opened in your name without your knowledge, call the credit card company immediately. All creditors’ phone numbers show up on your credit reports.

 

When filing disputes make sure to document the date, time, and name of everyone assisting you in resolving your dispute. Also keep copies of any paperwork that you provide to the credit bureaus or credit sources.

 

If you suspect identity theft while checking your annual reports, or at anytime throughout the year, call each bureau to place a Fraud Report on your accounts. This will ensure that for the next 90 days, or longer if you call to extend, that anytime someone attempts to access your account you will be notified. You can reach each bureau at:

 

Experian

Tel: 888-397-3742

 

Equifax

800-685-1111

 

Trans Union

800-888-4213

 

For identity theft you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission to see if it is appropriate to file for a Security Freeze. You can contact them at:

 

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft