Your credit report matters greatly. To a big extent, your financial life depends on it Banks, credit card companies, building societies and even landlords will usually need to have a look at your credit report before engaging in financial matters with you as it gives them an idea of how well you manage your credit. Checking your credit report regularly is thus important as it helps you see how interested parties would perceive you Most importantly, it helps you ensure that the details are accurate, free of fraud and updated.
Under Federal Law, every consumer has a right to get their credit report once every twelve months from each of the three credit reporting agencies- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Since each agency collects information separately and using different methods, it is important to request your credit report from all the three agencies.
How to Check Your Credit Report
You can access your credit report on the internet by visiting the website of the Central Source and making the request. The Central Source can be reached by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. Through this website, you can access your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. Alternatively, you can make the request on phone by dialing 1-877-322-8228. A longer more cumbersome process is to fill the request form and send it by mail to
Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348- 5281
When making the request, identifying yourself very clearly is important. Your name, address, place of birth, Social Security number and monthly mortgage payment amount will be necessary to include.
The law also entitles you to getting more free copies of your credit report in special circumstances. For example, when one is on welfare, seeking employment or when one has been a victim of fraud or an inaccurate credit report. In such cases, one can access more credit report copies for free. Additionally, within sixty days of being denied credit, you have a legal right to view your credit report.
Credit monitoring companies send updates to consumers every time when their credit reports are updated. With such a service, you can access your credit report regularly. This will, however, require you to subscribe to the company first. Of course, this is done at a regular monthly fee.
It is prudent to carefully view credit reports from all three companies. If you find an error in any one of them, request a dispute with the agency in question in 30 days of receiving the report.