Credit Reports

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LEARN to Read Your Credit Report Correctly

People may not judge a book by its cover, but you sure can be judged by your credit report. A healthy credit report affects your ability to obtain a loan or even rent an apartment. So be sure that you understand how to read your report and review it annually.

What is a credit report?

Your credit report provides a record of how you have used credit. Credit bureaus must adhere to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This Act gives them the right to gather information about individuals as it relates to their eligibility for credit, insurance, or employment. The information can then be provided to creditors, insurance companies, financial institutions, employers, or anyone who has a legitimate business need for the information.

How do I obtain my credit report?

The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. These bureaus acquire credit data from creditors such as lenders, credit card companies and retail establishments. They also search court records for lawsuits, judgments and bankruptcy filings.

Under the FACT Act, you are entitled to one free credit report per year. To obtain your report do one of the following:

  1. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com
  2. Call: 1.877.322.8228
  3. Send requests to:
    Annual Credit Report Request Service
    P.O. Box 105281
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

What if I find errors on my report?

If you find that corrections need to be made to your credit report, you should contact the credit reporting company that provided the report.

For more information on how to obtain and monitor your credit visit: