In order to maintain good credit and to guard against identity theft, you should check your credit reports frequently. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act 0f 2003 (FACTA), you are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months, upon your request, from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and Transunion). If you are married, you and your spouse can each obtain a free credit report from all three credit reporting agencies each year.
Besides the annual report, you are entitled to a free credit report under the following circumstances:
- A company has taken adverse action against you, such as denying you credit, insurance, or employment (you must request a copy within 60 days of the adverse action)
- You're unemployed and plan to look for a job within the next 60 days
- You receive welfare benefits
- Your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft
You might want to order all three of your free credit reports at the same time so that you can compare them and spot discrepancies. Or, you can stagger your requests -- ordering one report every four months, for example -- so that you can check more frequently for suspicious activity (like identity theft) or errors.
You can obtain your free reports:
- online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com
- by calling 877-322-8228, or
- by mail at Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
- John H. Adair
- Adair Advisory Group
Tags:John H. Adair, Adair Advisory Group, Credit Report,