You do have rights through the Fair Credit Act which is officially
referred to as the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA. Most people are
familiar with the one thing provided by the FCRA - free credit report.
Let me explain and get a few things cleared up first before we discuss the FCRA free credit report.
• No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report.
• The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete.
• There is no charge for disputing inaccurate information.
• You can hire a credit repair company to investigate on your behalf OR you can do it yourself.
• Anything a credit repair clinic can do legally, you can do for yourself. However, I do find that its easier for someone who knows the business to do it properly.
More on the Fair Credit Act (FCRA)
• According to the FCRA, a free credit report is what you are entitled to if a company denies you credit, insurance or employment.
• You have to ask for your report within 60 days of receiving a notice of this denial. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company.
• You’re also entitled, according to the FCRA one free credit report a year if:
◦ you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days
◦ if you’re on welfare
◦ if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
• Each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — per the Fair Credit Act is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it.
• The three companies have a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address for you to order the free annual credit reports the government entitles you.
To order, go to annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to the address on the form.
Thoughts on Getting your FCRA Free Credit Report.
You can order reports from the three consumer reporting companies at the same time. However, you do have to order the individually from each agency.
You may want to order them all at once if you are in the middle of credit repair. This allows you to work on them at the same time
You can also stagger your orders, ordering one from each of the reporting companies throughout the year. This will allow you to keep tabs on any major changes throughout the year.
For your FCRA Free Credit Report, DO NOT contact the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies individually or at another address. If you do, you may find that you end up paying for a report that you have the right to get for free. If you decide you want an additional report within 12 months, you may get charged $10-$15.
Listen Up: When you get a credit report through the free service, it does NOT include your credit score.
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