You’ve seen the commercials, e-mails andwebpites advertising “Free Credit Report” But are they really free? Consumer complaints say no. Many reported having to supply a credit card, being charged for credit monitoring subscriptions they didn’t want, and in some cases not ever receiving the report they ordered.
Now you’ll really be able to get your credit report for free. As amendment to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, from www.annualcreditreport.com.
You’ll need to provide your name, address, social security number and date of birth to order your report. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment or information about some other item that might appear on your credit report.
You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order one free copy from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months.
You may choose to stagger receiving your reports throughout the year, in order to monitor your credit year-round for free. Credit scores are not included in the free reports. A “reasonable fee” will still be charged to obtain a credit score.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nations’s consumer protection agency, has prepared a very thorough brochure. Your Access to free Credit Reports, explaining your rights and how to order a free annual credit report. You can access the brochure here.
Credit Report Dispute Form
The SAMPLE LETTER Credit report dispute guide from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information and tools you can use if you believe that your credit report contains information that is inaccurate or incomplete, and you would like to submit a dispute of that information to the credit reporting company.
It is important to dispute inaccurate information with both the credit reporting company that created the report and the company that first reported the inaccurate information, often
called the furnishing company. While this packet provides information about disputing inaccurate information with a credit reporting company, you can find information about disputing inaccurate information with a furnishing company at files.