Financial Resources

Free Credit Reports

Obtaining Your Credit Report

There are three major credit bureaus, not just one “national credit bureau.” These companies gather and record information about your credit history. You have a right to obtain a copy of your credit bureau report. Generally, there is a fee charged for ordering a copy of your credit bureau report. However, you are not charged a fee if you have been denied credit. You need to request a copy of your report within 60 days from the denial date and provide the credit bureau with a copy of the denial letter.

A recent amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the credit bureaus to provide consumers with a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months, at the consumer’s request. The law has been in effect in all states since September 1, 2005.

Each credit bureau requires that you provide them with certain information (e.g. name, social security number, and date of birth) when you request a copy of your report. The process to order your report might vary among credit bureaus. The best way to find out how to get a copy of your report is to call the credit bureaus or visit their web sites.

The three major credit bureaus, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites are as follows:

Equifax
P.O. Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348
(800) 685-1111
www.equifax.com
Trans Union
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
(800) 888-4213
www.tuc.com
Experian
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
(888) 397-3742
www.experian.com

 

You may also log on to the web site www.annualcreditreport.com and select your state. You will then be directed to the information section. Type in your personal information and answer the identity verification questions and you should be able to obtain your report instantly.

Usually, all credit bureaus record the same information about your credit history. However, there can be discrepancies, so it is recommended that you obtain a copy of your report from each of the credit bureaus to make sure that all of your credit information is correct.