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Credit Report FAQ's

Think of a credit report as a financial report card.

A credit report evaluates your financial history. It compiles your historical payment information from your current creditors – including banks (car payments, mortgages), utilities, credit cards, and cell phone providers – into information used by possible creditors to determine whether they will extend credit to you, as well as at what interest rate and for any associated fees.

What's in a credit report?

A credit report contains the following information:

  • Your personal information (i.e., name, SSN, birth date, current and former addresses, employer)
  • Financial information (i.e., bank accounts, loans, credit cards, bankruptcies, taxes, and your payment history related to any of these items)

How many credit reports do you have?

There are three national consumer credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You will have a credit report with each bureau.

How do I get my free credit report from each of three major credit bureaus?

Log onto or call (877) 322-8228. Federal law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it. You may also request your credit report in writing by contacting: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Free credit reports requested online can be immediately viewed online, while reports requested by phone or mail will be processed within 10 to 15 days of receiving your request.

Why check your credit report?

There are two prime reasons you should check your credit report:

  • According to the Public Interest Research Group, one in four credit reports has errors that are serious enough to disqualify consumers from opening a bank account, purchasing a home or getting a job!
  • Checking your credit report helps reduce the chance of identity theft.

What if there is incorrect information on my credit report?

Contact the appropriate credit bureau immediately to report the incorrect information, and also contact the creditor that has listed the incorrect information. Keep accurate notes on your efforts to have this information corrected.


Experian (formerly TRW)