Federal Law provides A FREE CREDIT REPORT
Beginning December 1, 2004, if you live in California or "Western states", you will be able to get a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three nationwide companies that compile these financial profiles. This right will be phased in nationwide, but goes into effect first in the western states.
These consumer credit reports compiled by Equifax, Experian and Trans Union reflect where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you've been sued or filed for bankruptcy. The reports affect whether you can get a loan or credit card - and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. These reports also can affect your ability to get a job, rent a home or obtain insurance.
Because of its significance, you will want to make sure the reports contain accurate, complete and up-to-date information before you apply for a loan for major purchases such as a house, a car, insurance, or apply for a job.
Checking these reports also can help combat identity fraud since you will be able to spot if someone has opened unauthorized accounts in your name or there have been delinquent payments reported for purchases you didn't authorize or didn't even know were made.
Once every 12 months, you may order your reports from one, two or all three of the nationwide consumer reporting companies, separately or at the same time. One way to make the most of this opportunity is to order a report from just one of the three credit bureaus, then wait four months to order a report from another and, four months later, order a report from the third credit bureau. By repeating this process annually, you can monitor your credit report regularly, at no cost.
Use one of the following centralized systems developed by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies to order your credit report.
Toll-free number: ( 8 7 7 ) 3 2 2 - 8 2 2 8
ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT REQUEST SERVICE
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
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