Regularly checking your credit report is a smart thing to do. It’ll help keep track of your credit scores, while at the same time allow you to monitor for any unauthorized credit activity or identity theft. This information is invaluable when you want to improve credit rating. You can obtain your credit report from the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) gives you free annual credit report from these credit reference agencies. Get your credit report from each credit bureau all at once, or you can choose to get them individually over time. For the convenience of each consumer, you can get your credit report through three methods: by phone, by mail, or online.
The phone hotline for ordering your credit report is 1-877-322-8228. All you’ll need to do is provide a few bits of information when you call, and make sure you have your credit or debit card handy. After you’ve provided all the necessary information, your credit report will be mailed to you within 15 business days.
If you want to order your credit report by mail, you’ll first need to obtain a copy of a credit report request form. You can download one at www.annualcreditreport.com. You’ll have to print the form out, and then fill in all the necessary information. You can expect to provide your full name, your current and other addresses, your social security number, your date of birth, your current employer, and your phone number. You may also need to send a check for the applicable amount on your form, depending on your request. Double-check all the information for any errors, and if everything’s clear, sign the form. Mail the form and check to the following address:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Just as when you order your credit report by phone, you can expect to get your free credit report within 15 business days.
You can also do a credit check online. You can visit each credit bureau’s website individually for your requests; Equifax’s website is www.equifax.com, TransUnion has its home at www.transunion.com, and you can find the Experian website at www.experian.com. You can also avail of all three services at the federally operated www.annualcreditreport.com. The process is pretty much the same as ordering by phone or by mail, but depending on your setup, this may be the most convenient option for obtaining your credit report. The main difference between the AnnualCreditReport website and each credit bureau’s individual website is that the bureaus’ websites allow you to monitor your credit report and score. This can be very helpful if you want to stay continuously informed on your credit status.
When you do obtain your credit report, be sure to check it thoroughly for any possible errors. If you find a questionable item in your credit report, submit a formal written letter informing the credit bureau in question. As much as possible, provide any and all data that supports your complaint. Any wrong piece of data can significantly affect your credit scores.