Get a Copy of your Credit Report

By: Alphonso Smith

Get a Copy of your Credit Report

It's important to get your credit report to see the condition of your credit and to see what is going on and who is looking at your information. If you find mistakes, you can have them corrected. You should obtain your credit report at least twice a year, no less than once. It is realistic and to your advantage to get a copy of your report before applying for credit, a job, a mortgage, an apartment or insurance. The advantage is that there will be no surprises and you have a chance to clear up items that will hinder you in the process. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that you are entitled to a copy of your credit report as often as you wish to request it. If you are a Massachusetts resident, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report once a year, from each agency. For residents in some other states, the fee is about $10.00 per report. If you have been denied credit based on information in your credit report, you can receive a free copy of your report if you make the request within 60 days. You can get a free credit report if you are unemployed and will be looking for a job within 60 days, you can also get a free credit report if you are on public assistance, or your report is inaccurate because of fraud. If you request your report from the internet, you will be charged a fee, regardless of your situation.

There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. It's recommended that you contact them directly by telephone or online for easy ordering instructions. You should obtain at least one report from each agency. The information from each one may be slightly different.

The credit reports will differ in format slightly, but the will contain the same type of information as follows:
Identifying Information: Your full name, including middle name and if Jr., 1st, 2nd or 3rd.., any aliases. Your social security number, address, employment and your martial status is part of this identifying information.
Public Record Information: Judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, foreclosures, court ordered child support, or any other items that have gone through the court system.
Account Information: Creditors with whom you have accounts, how much you owe each creditor, the most you have owed on each account, your credit limits, and your repayment history.
Inquiries: The name of any company or individual who has viewed your credit report and the date they viewed it.

Credit Matters
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