A frequent question I often get asked by prospective home buyers is ‘How do I get my credit report?' I decided that I would put some information together on ways to get your credit report. There are actually several ways to get your credit report, and most all of them are free.
Usually someone takes an interest in getting their credit report after they have been denied credit. What some people do not know is that when you receive that letter in the mail denying you credit, you are entitled to by law to be able to get a copy of your credit report from the company denying you credit. Merely follow the instructions they provide on the denial letter and write them back a letter requesting the credit report they used to deny you credit, and they will send it to you.
There are three credit bureaus, and each have a separate compilation of credit information on you. In 2003, Congress passed the ‘Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act' which provided residents of all US states to be able to get their credit report for free every 12 months, starting September 2005. This website is: www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you do not have a computer, you can call 1-877-322-8228 and the credit bureaus will mail your reports to you within 15 days. You can also fill out an ‘Annual Credit Report Request Form' which I have pictured here in this blog, and you can get a copy of this in a PDF version on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website link, here.
If you have already pulled your credit report within a 12 month period, and need to pull it again, you will need to pay the individual credit bureaus for a report. Per the FTC they can charge no more than $9.50 per report, although they charge more for the actual credit score. If you want to contact the individual credit bureaus directly, here is their information:
Equifax Credit Information Services
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
If you do not want to pay separately and deal with each credit bureau, but get a complete report of all three you can also go get your full FICO (Stands for ‘Fair Isaac and Company')on the website: MyFico.com and they charge a flat fee of $45 for all three reports. If you order them individually from the credit bureaus with their additional credit score fees, it comes to $41. So sometimes it is easier to go to FICO directly and get the full package of three.
So there are the different ways to get your credit report. As a Realtor in Battle Creek, Michigan I am always working with people who need help with understanding credit. I hope you have found this useful! As you can see, there are alot of ways to get your credit report. Some require money, but you can get your own report for free every twelve months! Good luck!
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