Would you like to check your credit report? If yes, did you know that you can actually order your report for free? Yes, all consumers are entitled to receive one free report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. This is in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) so if you have not yet received your free credit report for this year, then you should.
Where can you order your annual credit report and credit score? The three credit bureaus have set up a website for free annual consumer reports. www.annualcreditreport.com is the only online resource authorized by the government to distribute free credit reports. You can either request for one report from one bureau at different times throughout the year, or order all your three reports at once.
You may come across other websites that offer free online credit report and credit score. However, consumers should be careful about signing up for a free report from unknown websites. The free credit report and credit score offer may turn out to be bait. You may be required to sign up for one of the services the agency offers before you can claim your free report.
If you have already received your free credit reports for this year, you can still monitor your report by ordering directly from the three major credit bureaus. This service comes with a fee ($9 to $12 per report) but if you want to make sure that your report is accurate, the fee is well-worth it.
There are also other circumstances when you can get your credit report for free. For example, if you have been denied credit or if you suspect to have been a victim of ID theft, you are entitled to get a free report. Are you presently unemployed? If you plan to look for a job within the next 60 days, request for your free report from any of the three major bureaus.
Check Your Credit Report
As soon as you received your credit report, carefully examine your file for errors, incorrect details or outdated information. In case you find any mistake, be prepared to send a credit dispute letter to the bureau that issued your report. Even a single error can badly hurt your final rating so it’s important to update your report right away.
If you have been discharged from bankruptcy seven years ago, make sure that the record of bankruptcy does not appear in your report any longer. Other derogatory remarks such as foreclosure, tax liens, and other court judgements can only remain in your report for seven years. After this period, you should request the bureau to remove these remarks from your report if it’s still there.
When should you check your report? Ideally, you should check your report at least twice a year. Doing so is your best protection against fraud and ID theft. If you are going to apply for a credit card or a loan, it is also recommended that you check your report prior to submitting your application.
About the Author:
Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website EZCreditRepairSolutions.com. She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans. Copyright © 2011
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