Get Credit Report
Credit reports are detailed reports that can verify your financial status. Your credit report contains information about your loans, bill payments, current debt status, and your personal information. Your report also indicates whether you have been sued before, arrested, or you have ever filed for bankruptcy.
Your credit report is what lenders will use to verify if you are eligible for a loan and even if you are, the report will determine the amount you can pay. The credit score will also determine the interest rate lenders will charge for loans they grant to you. Low credit score attracts high interest loans.
Your employer, insurers, or property owners may also look at your credit report before they transact business with you. All these make credit reports important. It is essential to check your credit report occasionally to ensure that all the information on the report is accurate.
You are entitled to free credit reports annually. The three main credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. These agencies provide reports once every 12 months upon request. You can request for all three reports at the same time or at different times. You can choose to request for one report every four months. This will help you to monitor your credit report throughout the year.
Even though you are entitled to one credit report from each of the three credit bureaus every 12 months, there are instances where you can request a free copy of your report aside from the copy you are entitled to. You can apply for an additional copy if you have been notified that you have been denied employment, insurance, or credit due to your credit report.
You can also apply for an additional free copy if you believe there is a fraudulent entry on your report. You can also get a free report if you intend to apply for a job within the next sixty days. You can also access a free credit if you are a beneficiary of public welfare assistance.
How Do I Request for My Free Credit Report?
The three credit reporting agencies have set up a single website for accessing credit reports. You can obtain your report from all three agencies at annualcreditreport.com. This website is the only government-authorized website that offers free credit reports to citizens. When requesting for the report, you will need to verify your identity. You will be asked to provide your name, social security number, address, and date of birth of birth.
You can request for the credit report by mail, or by visiting their website. You can also call 1-877-322-8228 to submit your request. You can also download a form from the website. When you complete the form, you can mail it to
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can also apply to the credit reporting bureaus directly. After accessing the free report, if you need an additional copy, but you do not qualify for a free additional copy, you can pay for one. You will be charged about $12 for every copy.
Why Should I Monitor My Credit Report?
Credit reports are, and there are instances where wrong or fraudulent are entered on your report. If you monitor your account regularly, you will be able to identify such issues. When you find errors on your credit report, you can file a complaint to remove such errors. You can write to your credit bureau concerning the information you want to dispute. The credit bureau will also open an investigation to verify your claims. The credit bureau will provide you with the results of the investigation when it is complete. The report will be provided in written form. If the results indicate that the information you disputed is indeed inaccurate, the creditor will send in a request for the information to be corrected at all three credit bureaus.
When you receive your report, the first thing to do is to check if the report is really yours. You should be able to verify all the data in your report as well. Checking your report regularly will help you to determine whether you are in good standing or not. It will also to determine the loans available to you when you want to apply for credit.
The information included in your credit report are the following:
- Personal Information
Information such as your full name, addresses, social security numbers, date of birth, and employer information will be found at this portion.
The accounts portion will indicate your account status, credit limits, contact information, and recent payments.
- Payment Information
The payment information will include the information on all your accounts.
- Public Records
The public records section will include your tax liens, bankruptcy, legal issues, and civil judgments. If you have been sued before, it will appear in this section.
All your debts owed will appear in this section. This will include your credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages.
- Hard Enquiries
If you apply for credit or check for a mortgage, it will appear on your credit report. These inquiries will be filed under hard enquiries. This means, information is entered on your report anytime you apply for credit.
- Negative Information
This portion includes every entry that reduces your credit score. This includes your collections, late or missed payments, settled accounts, charge offs, and voluntary surrender. It is essential to check this section critically to make sure there are no wrong entries.