Reviewing Reports

Someone looking carefully at credit report

The best way to know what is contained in your credit report is to review it carefully. It is recommended that you review each of your three credit reports (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) at least once a year to make sure there are no errors. You may especially want to review these several months in advance of applying for a major purchase. By giving yourself a little lead-time, you may be able to deal with any surprises that appear on your report before you apply for financing. To obtain your free copies, you may contact www.annualcreditreport.com, or get in touch with the individual bureaus directly.

The information on each report may vary from one bureau to another. This is because not all creditors report their information to every credit bureau.

The following information is required when ordering credit reports:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Current and previous addresses for the past five years
  • Maiden name (if applicable)

A provision included within The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows consumers to receive one free credit report per year from each of the major credit reporting agencies. The agency must send the report to the consumer within 15 days of a request by phone, Internet, or mail.