How To Check Your Credit Report For Free
The purpose of this page is to provide information about Credit Reports, the Credit Bureaus, and how to obtain a copy of your Credit Report. Most people know that, at some point, they really need to start the process of repairing their credit. You can get 100% Free Information that will help you stop collection calls. Avoid credit repair scams. Choose the right service to fix your credit report. And raise your credit score. Plus receive a Free Credit Evaluation. Sign Up Now at CreditAssist1.com.
But this page you are on now provides information about your credit report. It gives a basic overview, and an explanation, about these types of credit reports.
We know that there are many people who already know a lot of the basics about credit reports and credit scores. We also know there are many who do not. Therefore we want to provide a brief overview of some important points to know.
What is a Credit Report?
Here is a very simple scenario: Suppose a co-worker comes to you and says loan me $20 until payday. You feel it’s no big deal, you got the money, you know them from work, so you have no problem doing it. But then… before you actually give them the money… other co-workers who overheard comes to you and says I loan them $20 and they never paid me back. What would you think about loaning them the money now?
That is exactly what a credit report is! It is a report made on you by others who previously gave you credit. John goes to ABC business and applies for credit… then ABC will check to see what other business have to say about John. And if they say John did not pay as agreed…or John had a lot of late payments… or John didn’t pay us back at all. Then ABC will definitely think twice about giving John credit. This is how a credit report affects you.
There are only 3 major credit bureaus in the U.S. Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Any other bureau that may be in your local area is in some way affiliated with one of these three bureaus
We all already know that if you plan on applying for a loan, financing a car, even applying for renting an apartment the very first thing everyone will do is pull your report.
Many of them, for different reasons, may only check your Experian… or they may only check Trans Union… or they may only check Equifax, etc. However when you apply for a major purchase like a home they will always check all three.
What is a Tri Merge Credit Report?
Instead of paying to check each one separately, this is one report that lists everything from all 3 of the major credit bureaus on it.
There is a simple reason for this. Let’s say for example somebody got a loan from XYZ company a few years ago and they never paid it back. XYZ company only reported the defaulted loan to Trans Union. Therefore if another loan company only checked the Experian and Equifax report, it would look like that person had good credit and they would never know about the defaulted XYZ loan. So the bottom line is that you can only get the complete picture by checking all three individually. Or by getting one report that has all three bureaus information on it.
Who owns your Credit Report?
We are all used to saying things like my credit report, or why did this company pull my credit? But the truth is we do not own our credit reports! The credit bureaus do. It is information they collected… They create a report… Then they sell it to any company, or person, who is in the business of extending credit, making loans, giving financing, etc.
In fact, it is only because Congress passed a law a few years back that forced the credit bureaus to at least let us see reports on us once per year for free. There is only one website where you can do this: AnnualCreditReport.com. You can only get it here for free once in a 12 month period. Also if you have been denied any type of credit… and that business pulled your credit report… and they said that the denial was due to your credit report… then you can contact each of the three credit bureaus directly, within 60 days, and get their credit report sent to you for free. Depending on who you get on the phone, they may try and steer to the free annual report website. Just tell them that you already used it this year.
If you already know for sure that your credit is bad, then one additional inquiry is not really going to make any difference. So in this case you can save your free reports for later and just apply for a department store card or anything like that. Department stores are usually instant. You will get declined, and then you can contact each of the three bureaus and get your report.
P.O. Box 740256,
Atlanta, Georgia 30374
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, Texas 75013
P.O. Box 6790,
Fullerton, CA 92834
Remember, ordering your own credit report is just the first, basic step in the process of cleaning up your credit, and raising your credit score. It is also a primary component of protecting yourself against possible fraud and identity theft.
You are going to get your 3 reports to start. Then it is completely up to you how quickly, or how long, it takes to contact those creditors who are on the report and attempt to pay them off, work out a settlement, dispute things that are wrong, have items remove, etc.
Then you will need to see all 3 reports, or a tri merge report again. After you feel there’s been enough time for things to have been taken care of and that all the reports should have been updated.
A recent change to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of three major credit reporting agencies provide a FREE copy of their credit report, at your request, once every 12 months AnnualCreditReport.com.