Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the 3 major credit bureaus and are required by law (Fair Credit Reporting Act – FCRA) to provide you with a free annual credit report at your request. Once every 12 months you can request a free copy of your credit report. Your credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you've been sued, arrested, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
The 3 major credit bureaus sell the information in your report to your creditors, your insurers, employers, and other businesses. Those businesses use your report to assess and evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or even renting a home …
You are also entitled to one Experian, TransUnion or Equifax Free Credit Report during any 12-month period no matter where you live, if:
- You are unemployed and intend to apply for a job in the next 60 days.
- You are on public welfare assistance.
- You believe your credit report contains inaccurate information due to fraud.
- You have received notice of an adverse decision within the past 60 days:
- You were denied credit
- You were denied insurance coverage
- You were denied employment
Otherwise, each of these 3 major credit bureaus may charge you up to $ 9.50 for another copy of your report within a 12-month period.
You can request a copy of your Equifax free credit report here:
Equifax Information Services LLC
PO Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374
or call 800-685-1111
Another alternative is to print out the Annual Credit Report Request Form at the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) site and when filling out the form, be sure to mark only the Equifax free credit report. (Save the free report requests from TransUnion Credit Bureau and Experian Credit Bureau for another time.)
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) recommends that you obtain an application for the free annual credit reports through:
Call: 1-877-322-8228 or
Mail the request to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service,
PO Box 105281,
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
For more information on your rights and application to access to your Equifax free credit report, visit the FTC site at ftc.gov.
Your Equifax free credit report is a snapshot of your borrowing and bill paying behavior over the last 24 months. The report will provide you with a credit score. With careful planning and as time goes by you have the power to change it for the better.