Q: How do I obtain a copy of my credit report?
A: There are multiple ways to pull a copy of your credit report online. The majority of credit report websites charge a minimal upfront fee (sometimes as low as $1.00) and then usually charge a monthly fee (generally around $15/month) which allows you to access your credit report whenever you wish. If you are looking for the free option, however, you should visit annualcreditreport.com which allows you to pull your credit report on their website, or by phone or through U.S. mail.
Q: How often can I check my credit report?
A: You are entitled to one free report from each of the major credit reporting agencies every twelve months. As discussed above, however, you can pull your credit report more frequently from other avenues, but they will likely require you to pay.
Q: Who are the “major credit reporting agencies”?
A: The 3 major credit reporting agencies are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
Q: How long does information stay on my credit report?
A: In general, negative information stays on your credit report for seven years. While your score will be affected less and less as the account gets older, the information will still be reported on your credit report. This does not mean that information can be reported as being late for 7-10 years. In fact, most accounts should only report as late for a maximum of either 120 or 180 days late, per FDIC guidelines.
Q: What happens if I find inaccurate information on my credit report?
A: If you find inaccurate information on your credit report you should dispute the inaccurate information with each of the credit reporting agencies. You should dispute the inaccurate information because your credit score affects the interest rates you pay and whether you can even qualify for a loan.
These “Q and A’s” only touch the surface on the potential questions you may have regarding your credit report. Next week, we will be discussing details on exactly how to effectively dispute inaccurate information on your credit report.
For additional information or questions, contact Cogburn Law Offices. We can help.