You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the "Big Three" credit bureaus each year (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Big Three have allowed consumers to obtain their credit reports on a weekly basis.
Checking your credit reports is the critical first step to ensuring that your credit files are accurate, and also monitoring for any signs of identity theft. If you find inaccurate information in your credit reports, the attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC are always happy to help you try to dispute and correct the errors on your credit file.
So, how do you obtain your free annual credit report?
There are three options:
- Online: go to www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Phone: call (877) 322-8228
- Mail: complete the form found HERE and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can request all three credit reports at once, or order them one at a time (for example, one report every four months). Once you've received your three free annual credit reports, you can still request additional reports, but there may be a charge for doing so. By law, a credit reporting agency cannot charge you more than $12.50 for a credit report.
If you are having trouble obtaining your report through www.annualcreditreport.com, or if you want to obtain additional reports beyond your one free annual report, either call or send a letter to:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
You can also request your consumer reports from other Speciality Consumer Reporting Agencies, such as employment background check and tenant screening companies. Most of these companies will provide you with a free copy of your report upon request, although some may charge a fee.
You also have a right to a free consumer report following an "adverse action." If you are denied credit, insurance, employment, or suffered any "adverse action" due to a consumer report, you have a right to a free report from the consumer reporting agency that sold the report about you.
Beware that consumer reporting agencies may try to enroll you in hidden arbitration agreements, paid products to view your report, or even free reports that convert into paid products. Be careful to ensure you know what you are ordering and what programs, if any, you are enrolling in. If you believe you inadvertently signed an arbitration agreement, you oftentimes have the ability to opt-out with a written letter to the credit reporting agency.
If you have questions about how to obtain your credit report, or how to review it once you've received it, the attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC are more than happy to assist you.