How to Get Your Free Credit Reports?March 9, 2017 at 9:41 am
Just like having a carbon footprint or a digital footprint, a person has a credit data footprint, which is called a credit report. All things related to your credit, including Islamic financing, is shown. Unlike your credit score, it is simply just a report of your past records. Your credit score is based on information that is accumulated in your credit history.
Keeping a close eye on your credit history is really important to avoid any mistakes. A single error in your credit report can result in a drastic loss, such as, not qualifying for a loan or being rejected for a mortgage. Staying on top of your credit history will also allow you to catch unusual behavior and assure that you won’t be a victim of identity theft.
There are many sources to get your credit report for free. Several personal financing websites that offer a free credit score, also offer a free credit report, such as NerdWallet. To really benefit from a free credit report, you want to make sure that your source contains:
- No contingencies to purchase ongoing services
- Your information is secured and will not be shared
- Which credit bureau provides the data because your credit report is not reported to all bureaus so your report may vary.
- The information is updated weekly, the more frequent the better.
Once you have chosen a specific service, you need to make sure to check it frequently. Make sure everything listed is recognizable to you and that you know that you are responsible for everything listed. Assure that all details and logistics are correct.
If you come across an error or something you don’t recognize then you should get your once-a-year free credit reports from all three credit bureaus. This will provide additional detail.
If you see an error or an account you don’t recognize, it’s time to get your once-a-year free credit reports from all three credit bureaus. That lets you check whether negative or mistaken information is showing on all three, and may provide additional details.
Everyone is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months under the Fair Credit Reporting Act from each of the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
There are three ways to get them. The first being requesting it online at AnnualCreditReport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or request them by filling out a form from the Federal Trade Commission. The website is known the be the fastest route. You will be asked a series of question to verify your identity then you will choose which credit report you want to see or if you want to see multiple ones.
Be sure to be using the correct website because impostors have made identical websites in hope of stealing people’s identity. A lock symbol on the upper left side of the URL will assure you that the source you are using is secure.
Requesting through the phone or mail can take significantly longer. The bureau asks for two to three weeks for the mailed request. No matter which method you choose, it takes longer when your identity needs to be verifies.
Your credit report is simply just facts on your financing and payments that are taken into account when calculating your credit score. They are two different things, and checking your credit report isn’t going to hurt your score.
The information in your credit report plays a major role in whether lenders decide to give you a mortgage or for you to qualify for credit and the terms you will get, including Islamic financing decisions. Included in the report is the length of time you have had credit, late payments, charge-offs, and how much available credit you qualify for. Your report is also viewed by employers, landlords and insurance companies. That being said, it is important to prevent incorrect information because if there is negative information you can assure for negative consequences such as being denied a job or an apartment and even paying more for car insurance.
There are several things you are looking for when reviewing your credit report. First you want to assure that everything you are seeing is correct and that there are no inaccuracies present or information that you don’t organize. In 2013 the Federal Trade Commission reported that about 1 in 5 Americans had erroneous information on at least one of the three credit reports and it’s important to dispute errors. Some of the inaccuracies found include:
- Collections accounts or judgments they didn’t know about.
- Open paid accounts
- Wrong name or Social Security number
- Open accounts that they had no knowledge of
- Wrong debt amounts
Experts suggest that you pull your reports from the credit reports at least once a year but taking out a different one every four months. There are certain circumstances where it may be important to pull all three at the same time. These times include:
- If you lost your wallet, your mail has been stolen, or you are suspicious that your information has been compromised.
- If after viewing one credit report you see signs of identity theft or potential fraud.
- If you see a large and unexplained drop in your credit scores
- If you plan to apply for a mortgage
Outside of these three sources, you might be able to get additional free credit reports from the bureaus. Under Federal law you may be eligible to receive a second report during the 12 month period if:
- You are currently unemployed and plan to find a job within the next 60 days.
- You receive public assistance
- You are a victim of fraud, including identity theft
- You are turned down for employment, insurance, or credit because of information provided in your credit report.
In seven states— Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont — and Puerto Rico give their residents free credit reports.