Free Consumer Credit Report
Consumers are allowed to receive a free copy of their credit reports each year. The recommended website to receive your consumer report is: www.annualcreditreport.com.
This website is secure, and will direct you to each reporting service. You may pay for a credit score if you wish.
It is advised to request a copy of your reports each year to track your personal information, credit history, and inquiries made to your credit reports. If any information is incorrect, the site will direct you on how to file disputes. Disputes can be filed on the site for each report - Equifax, Experian and Transunion. If you choose to mail a dispute, it is recommended to send copies of any supporting documents, along with a cover letter and copies of your identification, and a request for a new, updated report, by certified mail. Your certified mail receipt will show the date your request was received. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows the agencies 30 days to investigate and respond to your request. You should received a new copy of your report and a copy of their investigation.
Beware of "credit repair" companies. Most creditors and debt collection agencies will work with consumers to correct items on their personal credit reports. Consumers can work on repairing and correcting items on their credit reports without paying a company to do that for them. Some companies charge a monthly fee, others a "membership" fee, and still others a fee per request.
Creditors are not required to delete valid items from credit reports.
New regulations may change the way collection accounts are scored, to help consumers improve their credit history.
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay down debt, avoid having your accounts sent to a third-party debt collection agency, and make all payments on time. For more information regarding credit reports, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions area.