In case you did not know, every American is entitled to get a free annual credit report once a year. This is federal law and it is a much easier process. Read this informative article to find out how.
You can get your free credit report either by requesting it on the phone, or by mail or online. The online method is one of the easiest ways to request a free annual credit report. Some people are under the impression that checking credit history or credit score will result in a reduction of their credit ratings. This is certainly not the case. Checking your own credit score will not affect your credit ratings whateversoever. It is only negatively affected when other entities such as banks or financial institutions request your credit file.
You might be wondering "What will my free annual credit report tell me"? The following are the most important aspects it will cover.
- Personal information – This is one of the most basic but most important pieces of information that you will find in your credit profile. It is very important to make sure that the contact information listed matches exactly with your actual contact information as any discrepancies will mean potential identity theft or inaccurate information about you.
- Credit summary – This section will give out your credit score with which you can compare yourself with the national average. The national average credit score is in the 700 range, with the exact figure being 693 in 2009.
- Individual account details – In this section you will be able to find details on your past financial transactions such as loan amount borrowed, repayment schedule, missed or late payments etc. This aspect is very important as it will allow you to verify your financial history for accuracy.
- Public Record Information – If there was ever a lien taken against you or if you filed for bankruptcy or were evicted, it will show in this section.
- Credit history inquiries – This section will tell you how many times your credit history has been requested by various parties. More number of requests would reflect adversely on your credit score although inquiries from the person concerned will not adversely affect it.
- Creditor information – If you feel that there is a need to contact your past creditors to discuss something, you will find a section that will conveniently list your creditor's contact information.
Your credit report is authorized by the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act which is simply a federal law that allows three specific bureaus to give out credit scores on individuals. Equifax, Experian and Trans Union are the three institutions that are authorized to assess a person's credit ratings.
You can check your credit report and 3 bureau credit scores online by visiting the website below. Your financial future may just depend on it.