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The FCRA and Your Free Credit Reports – What You Should Know as a Consumer

Consumers are entitled to a free credit report each year that is generated by the three main credit reporting bureaus. This is a requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). These credit reporting bureaus are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. To receive free credit reports, consumers must submit a request in writing or online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.

To request your free report in writing, you can send your request to the following address:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5281

Keep in mind that you are entitled to only one free credit report per year from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. After that, you are entitled to an additional free credit report under the following circumstances:

  • you are the victim of identity theft;
  • receive a noticed that you were denied credit, insurance, or employment or there was another “adverse action” based on the review of your credit report. Under these circumstances the credit report must be requested within 60 days notice of the adverse determination;
  • you believe your file is inaccurate due to fraud;
  • you are a recipient of public welfare assistance;
  • your state offers a free credit report; and
  • you are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within 60 days from the date of your request.

Watch Out for Credit Report Websites

There are a variety of websites available that will analyze credit reports and provide some guidance to consumers on how to improve their credit. Such websites can be helpful, but will charge you for their services. Keep in mind, before signing up for any of these services, you are entitled to a free report, as noted above. Additionally, these services automatically enroll you to a subscription service which you must actively cancel. Before dealing with the complications involved with those circumstances, please first make sure that you don’t qualify for a free credit report.

Why it Is Important to Obtain Your Credit Report Each Year

You should obtain and review a copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus at least once per year. In addition to ensuring your credit reports are accurate, you are taking a step to confirm your identity has not been stolen. Often people discover they are the victims of identity theft by simply looking at their credit reports. As such, being cognizant of your credit activity is good practice to help safeguard against false information and fraud.

Contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC Today to Speak with a Consumer Protection Attorney

To learn more about how to obtain your credit report and what information is found in this report, you may find guidance by speaking with a qualified Consumer Protection and FCRA Attorney. Contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC today by calling 855-996-6342 to schedule your no cost consultation with one of our attorneys.