What about Your Credit Report?

A credit check is usually done to verify if you qualify for a loan or any other form of credit based on your past credit performances. This will reveal your past as well as your current credit transactions with different lenders and how you deal with them. Therefore, a credit check is a reflection of your credit performance in general. It works like a report card that reveals whether you have “passed” or “not” on a particular topic.

Credit checks are conducted by lending institutions such as credit card companies and banks for people wishing to apply for a loan or other form of credit. In addition, credit checks could also be accessed by a homeowner to question if a person would be a good tenant or not, as reflected in their past credit performance. Insurance companies also run credit checks on individuals wishing to use their insurance policies.

You can get your credit report, which contains information concerning the statistics of any of the three major credit reporting agencies. In addition, you can get your free credit report as outlined in the FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under law, everyone is entitled to receive a free credit report from any of the three major credit reporting companies in the United States once a year – Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Your credit report contains your personal information (such as name and address), how you've paid your past and previous bills, and any defaults you have such as late payments and whether you filed for bankruptcy.

To get your free credit report, you need to complete the required form through a centralized website credit report in any of the three credit bureaus in the United States. You are required to provide certain basic information including your name, permanent address, social security number and birth date. Your credit report is important to insure itself against any attempt of identity theft such as misuse of credit cards and other forms of fraud. In addition, you must update your credit report regularly as lending institutions would be using such reports to determine if they are worthy of being awarded the loan you have requested.

After receiving your free credit report, you should read each section carefully. All aspects should be included in calculating your credit score. So make sure you have paid attention to them. Check your report for any discrepancies and make sure it has not missed any payments at all. Your credit report also comes with a list of persons or business entities that have requested credit information. You can also check the names of such agencies or entities that you are familiar with.

Your credit report is used in the operation of a credit check for a loan or any other form of credit request. Therefore, make sure it is free of discrepancies or erroneous entries. Note that this report reflects the performance of your credit – make sure you do not stumble anywhere so that your loan application would always be a success.

How Free Is Your Credit Report?

The Internet is full with free credit report offers. So, you decide to join one since you’ve heard that they really are free. However, you find that it was free for only a week or so! These websites offer credit report monitoring to help see the way your credit score varies in time, which is a great service for monitoring the way your debt balance influences your credit score, but it is not at all free!

According to the Federal Trade Commission there is only one website that provides a free credit report and under government law you can obtain it once a year, the website is AnnualCreditReport.com. This is a central website that was set up by the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you want, you can get one merged report or 3 separate ones over the period of 12 months.

Getting a Free Credit Report More than Once a Year

In some cases you are entitled to get a free credit report even if you’ve gotten one within the time period of one year. The FTC states:

Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $10.50 for another copy of your report within a
12-month period.”

For more information visit the FTC and find Your Access to Free Credit Reports