Credit Reports

A recent amendment to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every twelve months, from http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.

Why is it important to check my credit rating?

A credit report contains information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. Monitoring and reviewing your credit report is an effective way to fight identity theft.

What kind of personal information will I have to provide?

To get your report, you will have to provide certain information including your name, social security number, and address. The online service has numerous features to protect the security of the information you send or receive.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a complex mathematical model that evaluates many types of information in a credit file. A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service and what interest to charge on a loan or mortgage. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents to a lender.

How can I obtain my free credit report?

You can request a free report through an online website, by mail, or phone.

  • Online Service: http://www.annualcreditreport.com/
  • Mail your Annual Credit Report Request Form (copies available at the Law Library at the Kalamazoo Public Library) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
  • Annual credit reports are available by telephone: 1-877-322-8228

March 1, 2005