In the United States, there are three main credit reporting companies they are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
They are strictly monitored by the Federal Government and are required to maintain fair, true and correct information about you! But how do you know if what they have is actually correct?
Fortunately, each of the companies is required under law to provide one free credit report to you each year. That means you can actually get three free reports every year (one from each company)!
Your credit report contains a lot of information about you, including your current address, previous addresses, your financial history – including bankruptcies and a rating by each credit card company as to how you paid your bill (i.e. whether it was on time, 1 month late, 2 months late, etc.) – and whether or not you have been in any lawsuits.
The government specifies who can access your credit report. Basically it is available to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses when you apply for credit, insurance, employment, or even when renting a home.
A consumer reporting company may not provide information about you to your employer, or to a prospective employer, without your written consent.
Companies often use this information to decide whether to lend you money or not, since it provides a very good snapshot of all your financial activities.
Because there is so much vital information included on a credit report, it is important for you to keep an eye on what is in your credit report to ensure that everything is accurate and current.
All three credit reporting agencies report basically the same information. However, sometimes one credit agency will pick up slightly different information or possibly even incorrect information.
So you should really check all of them on a yearly basis. The FTC recommends that you might want to do it on a rotating basis perhaps checking a different one every four months. This would allow you to keep tabs on your credit history frequently to monitor for fraud.
The three credit reporting agencies have set up a joint website which is the only truly free place to get your report!
It is at www.annualcreditreport.com there you can get a free credit reports from all three credit reporting companies with one single order or apply for any one of them individually.
You can check with the FTC here.
At this point the only site that they recognize as 100% free is the one mentioned above.
If you would like to monitor your credit situation more than three times a year you need to join a service like Experian which will monitor all three agencies reports and send you a monthly report. Although they offer a “Free Credit Report” it is only free for the first month.
Even though it is NOT 100% free, if you are concerned about credit card fraud or need to monitor your credit report on a frequent basis this might be a good service for you.
Here is their information:
FREE credit report with a FREE 30-day CreditCheck® Monitoring trial. Check & dispute possible inaccuracies. Will not lower your score. Detect critical changes and potential identity fraud. Monitor your credit report to catch ID fraud early. Check them out Here
Experian (above) does not repair your credit — simply monitors it.
If you need to repair your Credit you might be interested in HealthyCredit.net:
A better credit score can save you money. With the help of a professional law firm, U.S. consumers are improving their credit scores. Removing incorrect and damaging information from your credit report may be done, but it takes time, hard work and know-how. Get help from professionals and earn your best possible credit rating. The service is:
- Conducted by experienced legal professionals
- And you can start with a FREE, no obligation consultation!
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