What's In a Credit Score?

Credit reports contain a vast amount of information about your credit history. It's very important that you review your credit report at least annually to ensure that it is accurate and that you have not become a victim of identity fraud.  A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that almost one in four credit reports contains errors that are serious enough to cause a consumer to be denied credit, a loan, an apartment, or even a job.

Quick facts about getting your FREE credit report:

Consumers may request a FREE credit report as part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act.  Each consumer is allowed to get one free credit report from Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax once every 12 months. (The free credit report does NOT include your credit score.)

You are also entitled to a free credit report if: (1) you have been denied credit, employment, insurance or rental housing in the past 60 days due to your credit score; (2) you believe you may be a victim of identity theft; and/or (3) you are unemployed and/or if you receive welfare benefits.

To request your free credit report under the FACT Act, go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.

If you find an error in a report obtained from a credit reporting agency, you may submit a dispute not only to the credit reporting agency, but also directly to the company that is the source of the information.  Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.  If the company corrects your information as a result of your dispute, it must notify all of the credit reporting companies to which it provided the wrong information, so that those agencies can update their reports with the correct information. 

If you are dissatisfied with the resolution you do have the option of submitting a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

If you suspect that the error on your report is a result of identity theft, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Guarding Against Identity Theft website for information about identity theft and steps to take if you have been victimized.

Other resources regarding credit reports and credit reporting agencies (Fees may apply) include:

 Federal Trade Commission

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

Experian

Equifax

TransUnion

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