A credit report is a statement with information about your credit activity, current credit score, loan paying history, and account status. Credit Bureaus, consumer reporting agencies, or other credit reporting companies collect financial information and submit them to creditors. Most people require more than one credit report in a year. However, the creditors do not have to report every credit reporting company.
The lenders use this information to determine the technicalities of the loans you apply for. For example, it could include the amount they can lend you, as well as the interest rates for these loans. Similarly, insurance providers may take this information to determine the kind of vehicle or house insurance they should provide you.
What does a Credit Report Include?
The credit report includes crucial information like:
- Account balance
- Account payment history
- Birth date
- Credit limit
- Current and former addresses
- Current credit account
- Historical credit accounts (mortgage, installment, revolving, etc.)
- Name and past names in connection with a credit account (including nicknames)
- Phone numbers
- Social Security number
- The date the account was opened and closed
- The name of the creditor
How to Get a Free Credit Report
Users can get a free credit report from major financial organizations once every 12 months for free. These reports include all necessary information about your financial accounts and the information listed above. These credit card reports are completely free of charge and are a right of every US citizen.
Methods of Getting a Free Credit Report
There are primarily three methods of getting a free credit report:
You can access the Annual Credit Report site online and request a free copy of your credit report. However, you need to provide some personal information before making the request. The site saves your information and you get a digital copy of your report through the website.
Users can request a free annual credit report via calling on (877) 322-8228. The operator will redirect you to the concerned authorities, where you will answer a few queries before making your request for the free credit report.
You can download and fill out the Annual Credit Report Request Form to get it through the mail. Ensure sending the mail to the following address:
Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
A Few Other Things to Keep In Mind
There are a few things to keep in mind while ordering your free credit report from the concerned departments.
Request All Three Reports At Once or One By One
Individuals can request a free credit report from the major departments all at once or can choose to get each report separately. The best way to divide it is to get a report every 4 months so that you get a clear idea of every quarter of the year. This way you can assess your financial graph, transaction, and credit information on a daily quarterly basis.
Reports from Consumer Reporting Companies
Users can apply for reports from consuming reporting companies individually by taking a look at the list. However, most of these companies provide these reports for free, whereas, some of them may charge you. Therefore, you should check the details of each company separately.
When Can You Request for Additional Reports?
Individuals may need to request additional reports in certain situations. These situations include the following scenarios.
If you get a notification that a company denied you a loan, insurance, or employment, or carried another adverse action against you; you can request a report. However, you must request it within 60 days of the notification, if you wish to get it for free.
There is also a chance that you see unfavorable changes in the terms of account in your credit or insurance coverage. This can also apply to your license or government-based benefit.
Account owners may request a credit report also if they believe they are dealing with a fraudulent situation. This can also result from an initial fraud alert.
Application of Employment
This applies to unemployed individuals that plan to apply for employment within the next 60 days.
Individuals who qualify for social welfare assistance can request a free credit report if they need to revise their welfare amount or prove their financial condition.
There are several ways of getting your free credit report, but it depends on your particular situation. You can use phone, mail, or e-mail to get your free credit report through the methods we mentioned in this article.