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Credit Report Nuts and Bolts Part 3 of 6 – Help! I already ordered my free credit report fewer than twelve months ago! What to do?

[categories: Washington Bankruptcy Attorney]

As you may know, you an obtain a free credit report every 12 months by contacting www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

This is because of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT Act).

Note that these free credit reports (and reports obtained directly for free from most credit bureaus like Equifax, Transunion and Experian will not contain your "credit score" – they try to get you to buy that from them as proprietary information. There is not just one credit score for you – the bureau may or may not use the FICO (Fair & Isaacs Company) organization’s calculation of your "credit score".

If you already obtained your credit report within the past 12 months here are four ways to proceed.

(1) First, you can just contact the three credit bureaus as follows and pay a $10.50 fee for each report from each creditor for the credit report:

Equifax, 800-685-111, www.equifax.com Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Experian 888-397-3742, www.experian.com Experian will not provide a written request credit report address. They insist that you call, as far as I can tell.

Trans Union 800-916-8800, www.transunion.com Purchase a TransUnion Credit Report


Phone number: (800) 888-4213

2 Baldwin Place
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

Obtain a free, annual TransUnion Credit Report


Phone number: (800) 888-4213

Mail:Download mail order form

Note that you may be able to obtain a 3-in-1credit report from just one of the above – but be careful that you are not signing up for some sort of credit monitoring service or other consumer rip-off of dubious value – I noticed that Equifax was trying to sell you something called "debtwise" or "creditwise" or some other sort of nonsense. Last I checked, Experian had a $39.95 charge for obtaining all three agency credit reports AND your Experian calculated credit score. TransUnion had a similar sort of scam for trying to get you to sign up for an expensive subscription or some other sort of service.

Beware of Experian, though, they had a $1.00 offer for your credit score – but it was a "tricky Nixon" in that it signed you up for a $14.95 monthly subscription if you did not cancel within a very short period of time. Experian apparently has terminated some of its arrangements with FICO, in favor of trying to hawk its own credit scoring programs, as of February 1, 2009.

(2) Note that there are three "situational" exceptions and you can sometimes get two reports in a 12 month period, including:

-You are unemployed and will be aplying for a job within the next sixty days; or

-You are receiving public assistance; or

-You have reason to believe that the file at the credit bureau contains inaccurate inforamation due to fraud.

(3) You can obtain two reports in a two month period if you have made a fraud alert to the credit bureaus, and requested that a fraud alert be posted on your credit file.

(4) Denial of credit/insurance. Sometimes you can be denied credit or insurance — or initially be charged a higher premium — because of information in your credit report. In that case, the FCRA requires the creditor or insurance company to give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company that supplied the information. Contact the company to find out what your report said. This information is free if you ask for it within 60 days of being turned down for credit or insurance. The credit reporting company can tell you what’s in your report; only the creditor or insurance company can tell you why your application was denied. See the Federal Trade Commission’s website at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre24.shtm

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