There are 3 credit bureaus that have information regarding your credit history if you are concerned about your credit report. And, this information can be useful if you are planning on applying for a credit card.
The three major credit reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Each of them has their own information about your credit.
Anyone that has ever applied for credit of any kind has a file at one of the credit bureaus.
Since merchants usually report to only one of the 3 major credit bureaus; you may have to request a free report from all three to get an overall look at your credit report.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the three national credit reporting agencies to provide one free copy of your credit report to you annually.
Fortunately for consumers, you need not contact the three reporting agencies separately to obtain your free credit report.
You can order right online at www.annualcreditreport.com; or by calling 877-322-8228; or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
This link is available where you can get more information on credit reports, dispute letters, and understanding your credit: www.ftc.gov/credit.
If you need copies more often, you can contact the three reporting agencies and request copies. You will pay for this service.
To buy a copy of your report, contact:
There are sites that will charge you for a credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus. But, it is necessary for you to know that by law you are entitled to one free credit report a year.
You should contact the credit bureau directly to get your free report.
To request a free credit report from either or all of the three major credit bureaus, all you have to do is to request a free report online. You can also send the request by mail and you have to provide all your personal information.
Many institutions need your credit report before they will approve of you for credit. So, knowing your credit record can give you a heads up on your chances of receiving all kinds of services.
For example, a home loan will not be given if you have a bad credit score, and neither will you qualify for low cost life insurance, a credit card with a low apr, or some times even a lease on a house or car.
So knowing what’s on your credit report can be a short cut to save you time when applying for credit.
When you do receive your credit report from the credit bureaus there are certain sections of this report that you need to pay particular attention to.
The first section details your name and address.
You should check this to make sure that it is correct. If there are any inaccuracies in this section, you need to contact the credit bureau that sent the report with the correct information.
The next section will give details of your current bills.
Each of the three major credit bureaus may contain the same information or one of the three may have different information regarding your credit history depending on which merchants report to that credit bureau.
You should also note that you might have an excellent credit record with two of the 3 major credit bureaus and a poor rating with the other.
Check the listing of your bills, the amount of the payment and the due date. If you have been late with a payment or missed one altogether, this will show up on the credit report you receive from the 3 major credit bureaus.
You also need to check to see who has been inquiring about your credit history to make sure that no unauthorized person or company has been making inquiries without your permission.
Another thing about knowing your credit report score is that it can show you if someone has been defrauding you or stealing your identity.
If, for example, someone has been getting accounts in your name and not telling you or paying them, they will show up on your credit report as a bad score.
This will let you take appropriate legal action to get them removed from your record.
Getting the bad fraud charges off of your credit report can be a major hassle, but may be necessary if you are concerned about your credit report.
When you see that everything is as it should be, then you know that your information is safe with the 3 major credit bureaus.
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your credit report, you may be surprised to find errors, mistakes, or even a black mark or two.
If there are any inaccuracies in the information, you will need to start taking the necessary steps to have it corrected.
Fortunately, a Credit Repair Company can help you fix those mistakes and erase those black marks. Watch out for scammers, though, and choose a reputable Credit Repair Company with these tips:
Don’t pay anything up-front
Avoid a Credit Repair Company that wants you to hand over a fee or payment before they meet with you.
Reputable companies will first talk to you, assess your credit report and discuss your current situation before asking for any type of payment for their services.
An up-front fee is a red flag that the company will probably take your money and run. And no matter what type of charges you may incur, be sure they aren’t exorbitant.
If a Credit Repair Company claims your case will cost thousands of dollars, look for another one.
Watch out for “re-inventors”
Some companies will tell you that you can wipe your credit slate clean by “re-inventing” yourself with a new social security number. But that’s not true!
In most cases, what they plan to do is get you a new credit report by applying for an Employee Identification Number (EIN.) These are used by businesses and resembles a social security number, and you’re told to use it as such.
But this practice, known as “file segregation,” is a scam, and it’s also illegal! Avoid any Credit Repair Company that suggests this practice.
Look for one that helps you help yourself
A good Credit Repair Company will tell you (for free!) what you can do yourself. Such as writing letters to creditors and contacting the credit reporting bureaus about errors.
Avoid any Credit Repair Company that encourages you to do anything illegal or unethical. This can include disputing a legitimate charge or fee on your credit report.
Before signing up with any Credit Repair Company, make sure you check with the Better Business Bureau. They’ll have records of any formal complaints against the company, so you can avoid scammers and rip-off artists.
If you are concerned about your credit report and want to know what’s on it. If so, check out the companies recommended to you by Inker Street Consumer Credit Advice. For fast and effective credit repair with pay after service and a 100% guarantee we recommend CreditRX America.