Consumer Myth

Myth: Credit reports are private unless you authorize someone to review it.

FACT: Potential employers, landlords, insurers and retailers may access credit reports as part of a background check. Every American is entitled to one free credit report a year, from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. That works out to three free reports a year. The agencies are, in no particular order, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. It doesn’t matter in the slightest which one the report comes from because they are all required by law to share information with one another. If you notice errors, contact the company immediately.

The only way to get your free credit report is by contacting the official Annual Credit Report Request Service. The reports are available online at www.annualcreditreport.com or you can call and have one mailed to you 877-322-8228. In either case, you will be asked for your social security number, it is alright to give it to them; it’s a secure site.

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