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Obtaining Your Credit Report

How to safely order a free copy of your credit report, and why you should.

Background. If you use email, you probably have been inundated with unsolicited ads for a "free" credit report. Such ads are partly true. You are entitled to receive on free credit report each year. But, you do not want to order your report from an unsolicited email ad.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it ...

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  • May 1, 2006