Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to ask for, and receive, a free copy of your government credit report once a year. The FCRA serves to promote accurate information, held in privacy, by consumer reporting companies
Your credit report contains personal information like your address, your bill-paying habits, and your status as far as bankruptcy, arrest or any legal action against you. This information is of interest to companies who may be creditors, employers, insurers, lending institutions and landlords, and the consumer reporting companies sell the reports to them.
There are several reasons why you might need your credit report. If you are going to apply for a loan, get insurance or go for a job, you might want to ensure that the information contained in your credit report is accurate and correct. Your report contains some information that can affect your ability to be approved for a loan and the cost of that loan to you.
Checking your credit report annually is also a precaution against identity theft. Also, if you have had credit declined, your credit report could contain information that will tell you the reason this happened.
You are protected by the Act and have certain rights as well. At this time, there are three consumer reporting agencies nationally, but they are combined under one mailing address, toll free number and website. You have the right to apply for a credit report from each of these agencies, once every year.
The website is at www. Annualcreditreport. Com; the mailing address is ACRRS, PO Box 105281, Atlanta. GA 30348-5281; and the phone number is 1-877-322-8228. You need to first request an application form which needs to be filled in and sent off by mail or email. The information you will need to provide on the application is your name and address; your Social Security number; your date of birth and details of any recent change of address or name. You may be asked some personal questions to identify yourself.
There are websites claiming to be able to get your credit report for you, but the only legal and genuine website is annualcreditreport. Com, so don’t waste you time with any other sites. The scam sites might ask you to subscribe or sign up for something, and you will usually end up paying money for nothing. Other sites direct you to another site where they try to sell you something related to credit. These sites have no access to credit reporting.
The official website will never send emails asking for personal information or money, so you can be confident that your privacy is safe when you apply for your annual government credit report.
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