Why Getting Your Credit Report Is Important
Your credit report shows your recent credit history, including where you live, whether you pay your bills on time, and whether you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy. It can have an enormous impact on your life: creditors, insurers, landlords, and employers will all look at your credit history to determine whether or not you can get a loan, rent an apartment, or even get a job.
Clearly, it’s critical that your credit report have the right information. If your credit report has incorrect information—say, that you have unpaid bills when you don’t or that you filed for bankruptcy one year ago when you filed five years ago—it could have significant effects.
If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, it is even more important that you check your credit report. Bankruptcy negatively affects your credit rating, and you’ll have to build up your credit. You’ll want to make sure that there’s nothing inaccurate on your credit report that is damaging your credit score even further.
So how do you get your credit report?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the three nationwide credit reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—are required to give consumers a free copy of their credit report once a year.
You can get your free report by going to http://www.annualcreditreport.com/, calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Don’t contact the nationwide credit reporting companies directly: they only provide a free credit report via the above website, phone number, and mailing address.
The Federal Trade Commission warns against fake websites that claim to fill orders for your free credit report. Some companies will have you sign up for a service that is supposedly free, but they will then start charging your credit card after the trial period is over. Others try to collect your personal financial information. Many of these companies include “free report” in their name or have URLs that misspell “annualcreditreport.com” in hope that you will mistype the name of the real site.
Keeping up to date with your credit report is just one of the steps you should take to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.
If you’re struggling with debt and considering bankruptcy as a way out, call the experienced Tacoma, WA lawyers at the Law Offices of Jason S. Newcombe today.