Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion according to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. These three agencies are the only reporting bureaus authorized by the government to collect and release credit information on every consumer. Different lenders, creditors and other financial institutions report to them for updates on every individual’s credit related activities.
One free credit report per year
The one free credit report per year can be processed at the only website authorized by the government to provide credit reports according to the Federal Trade Commission which is annualcreditreport.com. From there, you can obtain all three credit reports. In order to request for your one free credit report per year, you are required to provide information such as personal details and Social Security number.
When do I need to check my credit report?
Since you’re allowed by law to receive one free credit report year, you might as well take advantage of that benefit even if you don’t seem to need it. You should regularly check your credit report for any inaccuracies and dispute it at once. What if there’s a late payment registered in your credit report when you have paid all your bills on time? That will surely affect your credit score and reliability in the eyes of creditors so be sure that all the information is true. Even information as simple as your personal details can sometimes be inaccurate.
You should also check your credit report before applying for a mortgage, credit card and loan. Creditors will be checking yours to determine how reliable you are in terms of paying your financial obligations. Some employers are even known to check job applicant’s credit report to see how responsible they are.
Can I check my credit report more than once a year?
You can check your credit report as often as you would like but for a fee. After you have claimed your one free credit report per year, you have to pay $14.95 for each report or $39.95 for all three although prices may differ from each credit bureau.
Some people who are conscious about increasing their credit score claim that checking your credit report can leave a mark on your report but this is not true. Only inquiries from others will leave a footprint on your report. You will be able to see who has requested for your credit report in the report itself.
What about my credit score?
Credit scores are a three number rating of your credit report. It ranges from 300 to 850, 300 being the lowest. A computation of your credit report is used to come up with a score. Credit scores are not included in the one free credit report per year. You have to purchase it at the different credit reporting bureaus at roughly $10 for each score.
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