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Step 5

Get copies of your credit reports

Your credit reports can provide a snapshot of your overall financial situation. Reviewing your credit reports for accuracy can also help you to identify errors or fraudulent activity. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to obtain copies of your reports. 

The FACT Act gives every consumer the right to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To get your free report, simply fill out the request form. You can also visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

The three major credit bureaus are separate entities. It is important to know this because the information in their reports may vary slightly. Different creditors use different reports (or a combination of them) to determine whether or not you are creditworthy.

Your creditworthiness matters most when you are trying to obtain credit. If your credit report indicates that you have maintained your credit well, you should have a good chance of receiving additional credit when needed, provided you have enough income to qualify for additional credit. 

Credit reports might also matter when renting an apartment, obtaining insurance or securing some types of employment. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates that credit information is accessible to others only for certain permissible purposes. For your protection, you are entitled by law to know who has received a copy of your report or inquired about it.

Interested in a one-on-one review of your credit report?  We can help!  MMI offers a free Credit Report Review (CRR) to all interested consumers.  Visit MoneyManagement.org for more details.