A credit report is a summary document containing information on the accounts, balances and regular billings of a consumer. The contents of the report are gathered from various sources including the past credit history of the client as well as from creditors such as banks or mortgage firms. The reason for coming up with the report is to make a conclusion on the payment capabilities of the consumer.
Every citizen is entitled to a free credit report at least once in every year. The easiest way to obtain a report from reporting agencies is through the internet. Online applications are processed immediately and the report is thus obtained instantly. There is a central website through which links are provided to direct the applicants. By logging on to Annualcreditreport dot com consumers will get an application in which they are supposed to fill in their details accurately.
An alternative easy way is sending the application form through mail. The completed form should be sent to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
But it takes about 15 days to get the report from the day the request is received by the reporting agency.
The applicant can also make a call to a toll-free number (877) 322-8228 where he will be asked to give out some necessary information such as name, address, date of birth and social security number. The report is then mailed to the applicant after a period of around 15 days.
Alternatively for credit card holders, they can check their credit reports for free through the internet. There are many sites that will allow this but only if the consumer is willing to try out their credit monitoring service for a period of 14 days or a month. But the consumer should always be careful to cancel out their membership when they no longer need it.
Another easier but rather unfortunate way of obtaining the report is when one has been denied credit and has thus received a letter explaining the reasons why. This letter can be mailed to a credit bureau requesting for a report which is then sent to the consumer as soon as it's processed.