The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) now requires that each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies provide a free credit report once every 12 months to those who request one. The three major credit reporting companies, which include Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, provide these reports on their own Web sites, and also through one central site at www.annualcreditreport.com. Consumers can order the reports all at once, or stagger them throughout the year as a means of monitoring their credit. The information one will need to provide these companies includes their name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and previous addresses, if applicable.
All consumers should regularly review their credit report to make sure it’s accurate and to guard against identity theft. Errors or undetected fraud can negatively impact a consumer’s access to loans and the interest rates they are charged. Furthermore, studies have also shown that one in four credit reports surveyed contained serious errors that could result in the denial of credit, employment, or insurance, which gives further cause to review credit reports on a regular basis and resolve, in writing, any issues you may find. Consumers can request their free reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. However, be cautious of other Internet Web sites promoting “free” credit reports, because these request Social Security numbers, birthdays, and other personal information that may be used to commit identity theft. If you would like us to review your credit report for its accuracy, please contact us.