Paying your bills on time is the most important thing you can do to maintain a good credit score. It is also important to monitor your credit report regularly to check it for accuracy. An inaccurate credit report can hurt your chances of getting loans, and can increase your payments when you do obtain loans.
What is a credit report?
Your credit report provides a record of how you have used credit. Credit bureaus must adhere to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This Act gives them the right to gather information about individuals as it relates to their eligibility for credit, insurance, or employment. The information can then be provided to creditors, insurance companies, employers, or anyone who has a legitimate business oriented need for the information.
How do I obtain my credit report?
There are three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These bureaus acquire credit data from creditors such as lenders, credit card companies and retail establishments. They also search court records for lawsuits, judgments and bankruptcy filings.
Under the FACT Act, you are entitled to one free credit report per year. To obtain your report do one of the following:
- Visit www.annualcreditreport.com
- Call: 1-877-322-8228
- Send requests to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If you find that corrections are needed to your credit report, you can contact the credit reporting company that provided the report.
To receive Credit Report Counseling, check out the Accel Financial Counseling Program.
For more information on how to obtain and monitor your credit, view: