Credit reports are the only “report cards” that matter for those of us out of school. When our reports are inaccurate, this can have devastating effects on our lives.
- We can be turned down for a loan that we otherwise qualify for.
- We can have our insurance rates skyrocket without any claims – just because our credit report shows negative information.
- We have seen people lose jobs because a poor credit report can cause one to lose your security clearance.
- The list goes on and on.
We will discuss how the errors or inaccuracies appear on our credit reports in another post but for now what is the
first critical step in correcting credit reports?
To know if we have errors, we must pull our credit reports. This used to be a bit of a pain as we were charged for reports but now, every twelve months, we can all pull our credit reports for free. There are three ways to do this.
- First, download the official credit request form here – http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/include/requestformfinal.pdf
- Second, you can call 1-877-322-8228 to get your reports
- Finally, you can go online to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/
Please note, we do NOT recommend going to the freecreditreport.com or other similar sites as they are not truly free. Stick with the three ways listed above, particularly the first option of mailing in the request form, as many of our clients have had trouble getting their reports over the phone or on line.
Our next post will discuss how to review our reports to determine if the reports are accurate or inaccurate as set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If you don’t have your recent reports, go ahead and pick one of the three ways right now. This is an easy decision to put off but think about the consequences if you have errors on your reports – the first step is to get your reports. Please do it now to protect yourself.
Here is a video describing this process:
Update on 10-2-08 — You should also now pull your Innovis report for free. Innovis has become a major player in the credit reporting world and so you need to know what is on your Innovis report.
Another resource for you is to join our Facebook Fan Page – Alabama Consumer Protection Attorneys where we share useful information about the same types of issues that we cover in this blog.