The three consumer reporting companies in the country have established a website, a free telephone hotline and a centralized postal address through which you can request your free annual credit report.
You can request your reports from the three consumer reporting companies in the country at the same time, or you can only ask one of the companies at a time. The law gives you the right to request a free copy from each of the consumer reporting companies every 12 months. The request for your free annual credit report must be made in English.
What is the information I must provide to get my free report?
You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. If you have moved during the past two years, you may have to inform your previous address. In order to maintain the security of your registration, each consumer reporting company may ask you for some other information that only you know, such as the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may request different data since the information contained in its registry may come from different sources.
Why should I be interested in obtaining a copy of my credit report?
Your credit report contains information that affects your ability to get a loan – and what you will have to pay to borrow money. It is important that you are interested in viewing your credit report for the following reasons:
- To be sure that the information registered is accurate, complete and updated before submitting a loan application to make an important purchase, such as a house or a car, to buy insurance or to apply for a job.
- To help protect against identity theft. This occurs when someone uses your personal information – such as your name, Social Security number or credit card number – to commit fraud. Identity thieves can use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when the bills are not paid, the delinquent account is reported to your credit report. Inaccurate information of this type could affect your ability to obtain credit, insurance and even to get a job.
How long will it take to deliver my report from the date of my application?
If you apply online at annualcreditreport.com, you should be able to access your report immediately. If you request it by phone, your report will be processed and mailed within 15 days. If you request it by mail by sending the Annual Credit Report Request Form, your order will be processed and sent by mail within 15 days of receipt.
In the event that the consumer reporting company needs more information to verify your identity, it could take a little longer if you request your report online, by phone or by mail.
Are there other situations that determine eligibility to receive a free credit report?
Under the provisions of federal law, you have the right to receive a free report if a company takes an adverse action against you, such as the denial of your credit, insurance or employment application and when you request your report within a deadline. 60 days from the date of receipt of the notification of the adverse action. The notification will provide you with the name, address and telephone number of the consumer reporting company. You also have the right to get a free report in case you are unemployed and have plans to seek employment within 60 days; if you receive public assistance; or if your report is inaccurate due to fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a consumer reporting company may charge you up to $ 11.00 for each additional credit report requested within 12 months. To purchase a copy of your report.
Should I request a report from each of the three consumer reporting companies in the country?
That is for your consideration. Because national consumer reporting companies obtain their information from different sources, the information registered by one company may not reflect all or the same information that is recorded in the other two companies. This does not mean that the information recorded in any of your reports is inaccurate, only that the reports may be different from each other depending on the type of information that each agency records.