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Free Online Credit Report
All US citizens have access to their online credit reports free-of-charge once a year. To have a look at it, go to the Annualcreditreport website and send a request as the report will not show automatically. This website is the only authorized source that consumers can use to get a free copy of their report. It is a centralized database sponsored by the three top reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
What Is In the Report
The online credit report is a summary of your payment history, different accounts, payment behavior, balances, and other financial activities. Keep in mind that it is not a credit score report, but an information report to calculate your FICO score. Nevertheless, it is important that you check all details and report any mistakes to the credit reporting agencies.
Ordering the Online Credit Report
You can obtain the report from all three agencies simultaneously or at different times during the year. You can request a free copy even if your loan application has been turned down. There are other websites that also offer free reports over the Internet. Be wary of scammers and impostors as most websites are operated to make quick profit out of your hard-earned money.
What Information to Provide
To get a report, you have to provide your personal data through the website. Pieces of information include your complete name, address, SS number, birth date and other relevant details. To make sure you are the right person to access this report, the website may ask for information that only you would know.
Why Get a Report
Before you apply for a loan, make sure that your credit report is error-free as to improve your chances of getting better terms and conditions. Some people commit identity theft which will stain your credit report. For example, the Equifax Identity Watch sends you automatic alerts within 24 hours of major changes, e.g. someone is trying to obtain credit in your name. With Equifax, you can check your credit file and get the most out of expert tips, helping you understand the content of your credit report. The online dispute faculty serves to rectify errors in a quick and prompt manner. Moreover, customers enjoy comprehensive support by the bureau's customer care team. And the good news is that once you request your information online, you can access it immediately. Inquiries do not affect your credit score, and receiving your personal credit report does not count for an inquiry. Other products offered by Equifax include: statutory credit report, Credit Watch Gold and Silver, credit rating, identity watch, etc. With TransUnion, you get your credit profile and score, together with daily notifications of major changes. You can make sure your payments have been posted on time, together with your full payment history. In addition, you will find complete list containing the contracts of crediting institutions.