Maintaining good credit is an important part of sound financial management. National credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion gather information on where you live and work, how prompt you are in paying your bills, paid-off loans, and outstanding debt. They also check to see if you've been sued, filed for bankruptcy, or have a criminal record.
Credit bureaus sell this data to creditors, insurers, and others who use it to make decisions about whether to sell you their products and services and how much to charge you for it. Your credit report may affect your mortgage and insurance rates and your ability to obtain credit cards, rent an apartment, or even get a job.
Financial professionals recommend that consumers regularly check their credit reports for completeness and accuracy and as a means to detect identity theft. Under Federal law you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each major credit bureau every 12 months. If your report contains a mistake you can file a dispute with the credit bureau and receive a response within 45 days.
Request your free credit report
Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
FICO Credit Score
The information in your credit report is used to calculate your FICO® (Fair, Isaac Corporation) score in a range of 300-850. Lenders use your FICO score to assess whether you are an acceptable risk. A score in the 700s puts you in good standing. Free credit reports do not contain your FICO credit score but you can purchase it when you request your free annual credit report.