With the recent Equifax data breach that affected 143 million customers and all of the other breaches in the last few years, it’s important to stay vigilant and monitor your credit report for any errors. You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at the same time or you can spread out your requests throughout the year, for example, request one from a different agency every 4 months. The following helpful information is from USA.gov.
Credit reports contain information about your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. They show where you work and live and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
Credit reports help lenders decide whether or not to extend you credit or approve a loan, and determine what interest rate they will charge you. Prospective employers, insurers, and rental property owners may also look at your credit report.
It’s important to check your credit report regularly to ensure that your personal information and financial accounts are being accurately reported and that no fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name. If you find errors on your credit report, take steps to have them corrected.
Free Credit Reports
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year. Learn about other situations in which you can request a free credit report.
Request your free credit report:
Online: Visit AnnualCreditReport.com
By Phone: Call 1-877-322-8228. Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TTY service by calling 711 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If your request for a free credit report is denied:
Contact the credit reporting agency (CRA) directly to try and resolve the issue. The CRA should inform you of the reason they denied your request and explain what to do next. Often, you will only need to provide information that was missing or incorrect on your application for a free credit report.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute with the CRA, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Andrea L. Blackwelder, CFP®, ChFC and Joseph D. Clemens, CFP®, EA are the founders and partners of Wisdom Wealth Strategies. Their shared passion is simple: to bring financial empowerment, understanding, and peace-of mind to people who wish to improve their financial future, build wealth for their families, and achieve financial independence. Click here to find out more about how you can work with Wisdom Wealth Strategies.