If you have been denied credit in the past 30 days, you have the right to request a free copy of your credit report. Beginning December 1, 2004 in the Western states, and nationwide in 2005, the three main credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will be required to give you, upon request, a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. Once set up in your area, you will be able to obtain your free copy by calling (877) 322-8228, or on the internet at www.annualcreditport.com. If you prefer, you can write to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5281. You are assured of your free credit report by the Federal Trade Commission’s ruling last year under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
To contact the credit bureaus individually:
P.O. Box 2106
Dallas, TX 75002-9506
- Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, Georgia 30374
- TransUnion, LLC
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
What should I look for in my credit report?
Once you have obtained a copy of your credit report from the three main credit reporting bureaus, look for potential problem areas which could impact your over all credit score. Look carefully for inaccurate information, such as late payments which may be reported which are not correct. It is not uncommon for a creditor to show a delinquent credit card payment, for example, when you are know you have paid your bill on time. You should also check the public records section of your report which will show any tax liens, bankruptcies or default judgments which have been levied against you. Check the credit card accounts listed in the report carefully to be sure there are not any accounts which don’t belong to you. If you find errors, you will want to report them as soon as possible. You can learn more about disputing incorrect information at www.ftc.gov/credit.
Copyright © 2004 Sandy Gadow This column may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated, or redistributed without the written permission of Escrow Publishing Company.
Consider ordering your free credit reports one at a time. For example, order your report from Experian one month, from Equifax the next month, and TransUnion the following month.