Consumers often contact the Adkins Firm and ask how to get their free credit reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that gives consumers the right to a free credit report under several circumstances. One of the most important and basic rights for consumers under the FCRA is the right to access their credit report. In 2003, and for the first time, Congress gave consumers the right to access their credit report for free once a year. 15 USC Section 1681j. The once a year free credit report is known as a “free annual disclosure.” When Congress amended the FCRA, it intended “to enable consumers to detect and dispute inaccurate or incomplete information in the files of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies.” 16 CFR Part 610 Free Annual Disclosure Rule.
Before 2003, consumers did not have the right to a free annual disclosure. Instead, consumers had to pay the credit bureaus to get their credit reports, unless they were eligible for a free report under a limited number of other circumstances. Now, consumers can request their free annual credit reports from the nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, by phone, mail or online through a “centralized source.” The credit bureaus must send you your free credit report within 15 days of receipt of your request. 15 USC Section 1681ja(2).
The Adkins Firm recommends consumers request their credit reports using this Free Credit Report Request Form. Complete the form using your personal identifying information and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5281
If you choose to order your free credit reports online, beware of imposter websites! There is only one website mandated by Congress to fill orders for consumers’ free annual credit reports — www.annualcreditreport.com.
When you receive your credit reports, you should carefully review the reports to make sure they are accurate and complete. Credit reports contain personal identifying information, such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, addresses, telephone numbers and employers. Credit reports contain account payment history, balances and account status, such as current or past due. Credit reports also include the names of companies who reviewed your credit report. The list is known as the “inquiry” section of your report.
If your credit report contains any inaccurate or incomplete information, then you should notify the credit bureaus that you are disputing the information. To learn more about how to dispute credit report errors visit us at ItsYourCreditReport.
The Adkins Firm represents consumers who have credit report errors. If you are unable to get your credit report or if you believe your credit report has false information, then you should contact attorney Micah Adkins today for a free case review. Remember, it’s your credit report!