Credit Report – for
Excerpts from Jim Bracher's
Integrity Matters newspaper column, published on August
Individuals can access important credit information
for free. Why spend money unless it is required? Three
times per year, individuals are allowed to request a
complimentary annual credit report, from these three
organizations: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Individuals
are allowed to receive one free copy from each supplier,
once per year. So, at no cost, call the toll free number 877-322-8228 and
get your updated credit report every four months.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (www.privacyrights.org),
San Diego-based nonprofit, offers valuable counsel. Its
July tip of the month: When ordering your free credit
report, it's still better to call than order online.
It's disturbing to learn that 100 imposter domains and
233 imposter sites are interfering with the federally
mandated free credit report site. Some of these sites
are showing up in search engine results, sometimes as
paid listings that appear ahead of the official site.
To facilitate obtaining your current credit report,
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse suggests:
- When phoning the toll free number (877-322-8228)
for your credit report, ask that only the last four
digits of your Social Security Number be displayed
when it is sent to you.
- If you use the toll-free number above to access
your free credit report, be aware that if you have
a strong accent or a complex last name, the automated
phone system may not work.
- If you call for your report or have it mailed to
you, ensure that your credit report is mailed to a
- Know that you are not required to give out your
e-mail address in order to obtain a federally mandated
free credit report.
- If you order a free annual credit report online,
take basic computer safety precautions. For example,
ensure that your computer is virus-free and don't order
your reports from a public computer or from work.
Individuals need current credit information for economic
protection. Because of the growing cottage industry called
identify theft, the risks are real, time consuming and
can be costly.