It Is a Good Idea To Check Your Credit Reports
Author: Attorney Thomas J. Casey
There are websites and companies offering to provide credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring services. While some of these sites may provide a value to consumers, there is a free alternative that allows access to your credit reports.
The website “www.AnnualCreditReport.com” gives easy access to the three major credit reporting companies. Federal law gives consumers the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report every twelve months from each of the three major credit reporting companies. Those companies are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
A credit report is an organized list of information related to your credit activity. For example, when you make a payment on a credit card or a loan, the lender or business that gave you the card or the loan keeps a record of your payments, your credit limits and balances, and reports that information to the credit reporting companies.
The credit report typically includes:
- A list of businesses or lenders that have given you credit or loans
- The total amount of credit given to you by each lender or business
- A record of your payments and whether the payments have been made timely
- A record of any missed payments or late payments
Credit reports also may include:
- Information on your current and former names and addresses, and your employers
- A list of parties that have obtained your credit report recently
- Any bankruptcies or judgments that you may have
To obtain your free credit report from each of the three major companies, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and click on the link provided for “Request your free credit reports”. When you receive the credit reports, review the information to make sure it is accurate and complete. If there are errors, you can contact the lender or business that reported the erroneous information, or you can contact the credit reporting company directly.
With rampant identity theft and more and more emphasis being placed on your credit reports for many types of activities, it is very important to routinely check the status of your credit reports. If there are any questions regarding these issues, you should contact an attorney.