What is a credit report?
A credit report is a document detailing your credit history. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes this document as a one containing information on your residence, bill payment and “whether you’ve been sued or have filed for bankruptcy.”
How do I receive my credit report(s)?
There are three consumer reporting agencies in the United States in which you can get your free credit report from annually under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It is vital obtain a copy of each annually to ensure that all account information is accurate.
The only website authorized to give this free report yearly is annualcreditreport.com. When visiting the site to get a copy of your report, make sure to check your spelling to ensure you are on the correct site. To learn about “imposter” websites offering free credit reports, visit the FTC here.
When you visit this site, you can choose to either get all three reports at the same time, or you can instead decide to space out annual free report for each of these reporting agencies and visit the site every four months for a free report. If you chose the latter, make sure to keep note of which agency you obtained a report from as you will not get another free report from this agency for another 12 months.
What do I do if my credit report is inaccurate?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notes that “under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.”
If you find an error on your report, follow the steps indicated by the FTC including contact both credit reporting agency and the information provider. Detailed instructions can be found on the FTC’s site here.