Thursday, February 02, 2006
obtaining the free credit report
It was very interesting, I learned a lot. For example:
You've seen it...flashing on the banner above your Yahoo or other screen. Get your FREE credit report. So you think "Yeah, I'll do that. By law I am entitled to one free credit report per year." So you go on line and fill in the spaces and find out it's NOT free. Scratch that. DO NOT USE www.freecreditreport.com to get a credit report, the service is fee based. They want you to pay for a "full report" and give you only the bare minimum
But you were right, you can get a free one though. Just pick the right web address:
or call 1-877-322-8228
You are entitled by law to one free credit report from EACH credit reporting agency per year. One thing I learned was that if you want to keep tabs on your credit you can do it this way.
Write or call EACH of the Credit Reporting Bureaus every 4 months. There are 3 bureaus.
You ask one bureau to send you a report and then wait 4 months and ask the 2nd and after another 4 months ask the 3rd.
So in January you call or write for your EQUIFAX report:
PO Box 740123
Atlanta GA 30374-0123
In April you call or write to TransUnion
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
In August you ask Experian
475 Anton Blvd
Costa Mesa CA 92626
Not all credit reporting bureaus use the same kinds of criteria for listing things on the report, so the reports will contain variations. But by in large they should be pretty close. If the credit score you have on the 3 different reports varies widely, be assured that the people looking into your credit history will take the middle score usually.
You can also get all three at once by requesting them free (once a year) from:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta GA 30348-5261
You can also update and explain (in 100 words or less) what problems have occurred and why you have had late payments, or disputes with creditors.
These are good things to know.
Save this information.