What is the best way to obtain your credit report?
Each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies are required, by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. In the past, you had to contact each company separately, but there's now central contact information for all three.
You can obtain your credit report in one of three ways:
- You can call a toll-free number, (877) 322-8228, give them the necessary information, and they'll mail the report out to you.
- You can complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
- Annual Credit Report Request Service
- P.O. Box 105281
- Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
- You can go to the central web site www.annualcreditreport.com, fill out an on-line request form, and get your report immediately.
If you call or mail in a request, it will take about 15 days for you to receive your credit report.
It's a good idea to request your credit report once every one to two years to make sure it's correct. Any false or inaccurate information can have a serious impact on your ability to get loans for cars, houses, or school, and will in part determine the rate of interest you'll pay.