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Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report!

Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, passed in 2003 to battle the increasing incidence of identity theft nationwide, you can get free copies of your credit report once a year from each of the major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

To order your reports, visit the website, www.annualcreditreport.com. Be sure you use this official web address as scams are rampant, often advertised through pop-up ads or spam e-mail. At the site, you can either see the information online or download a request form and mail it in where you will receive your reports within 15 days. You can also order your reports by calling the toll-free number 1-877-322-8228.

When you request your credit report (credit file disclosure) you will be provided with all the credit information that could be given by the consumer reporting company to a third party, such as a lender. The reports also include a record of everyone who has received a consumer report about you from the reporting company within a certain period of time. Your credit disclosure includes information that is not included in a standard consumer report such as the inquires of companies for pre-approved offers of credit or insurance and account reviews, and any medical account information that is suppressed for third party users of consumer reports.

You are entitled to receive one free credit file disclosure each year from each of the consumer credit reporting companies. Whether you order all three at once, or one at a time, is your choice but the website suggests that you can compare the reports by ordering them all at one time. The advantage of ordering them at different times is that you can more closely monitor any changes or new information that might appear.

Your credit score is based on your credit report. The credit score is a number that helps lenders predict how likely you are to make payments on time. Your score also affects whether you can get credit as well as the interest rates you pay for credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other kinds of credit. For more information visit www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/money/creditscores/your.htm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers to be on the alert for companies that claim to be able to repair your credit. These "credit clinics" do not offer any service that you cannot accomplish yourself. Be suspicious of anyone that offers to create a new identity and credit file for you. Warning signs to look out for are if an organization:

Posted: January 2006

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Bassman, Laserow, Adelman & Weiss, PC
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Blue Bell, PA 19422
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