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How to Order a Free Credit Report

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An amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

The three nationwide credit reporting agencies have set up one website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies individually.

You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies at the same time, or you can order from only one or two. The FCRA allows you to order one free copy from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies every 12 months.

You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting agency may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.

Other situations where you might be eligible for a free report

You're also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in your report. You must ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting agency.

You're also entitled to one free report a year if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you're on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $11.00 for another copy of your report within a 12-month period. To buy a copy of your report, contact the three credit reporting agencies:

-- This article is courtesy of the National Credit Union Administration at mycreditunion.gov.

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