Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Credit Report (without the song and dance)

We've all seen the commercials on TV for various "free" credit report offers.  The truth is, if they are advertising, they aren't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act enables consumers a free copy of their credit report once a year - see details here. The companies that are advertising will get you your credit report for free, but they are trying to sign you up for a monthly monitoring service or other services for a fee.

The FTC's link brings you to which is hosted by the three major credit reporting agencies - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

You'll follow through the prompts on the site to fill out your personal information and then you'll have to select which of three agencies to get your report from.  Your credit report will show your various outstanding lines of credit.  The report will not provide you with your credit score.  You'll have the opportunity during the process to sign up (and pay) to receive your credit score.

Getting your free credit report once per year is a good way to monitor your credit, although if there are problems, a once-per-year report may not be timely enough.

If you are planning on looking for a house, you may want to pull your report before you begin.  If there are problems, such as fraudulent accounts, they can often take a long time to resolve.

1 comment:

  1. Thank god we are not getting a mortgage when we buy our next house because we just looked at our credit reports and discovered a company is saying my husband owes them four thousand dollars. We never heard of this company. We are not delinquent on anything. Yeah, the credit companies will investigate, but let me tell you, they don't really actually "investigate." They asked this company if it was our debt and the company, one of those scamming collection agencies, said yes it is. That's the extent of their investigation. So it's been a big stressful fight. In the end we'll win because it's not our debt and they have no evidence that it is. But what would happen if I was in the middle of getting a mortgage?! I'd be declined!