FREE Credit Report


Get your free credit report!

It's finally Mississippi's turn.  Starting on 9/1/05, residents will be able...once a year...to get a FREE copy of their credit report.

You can use your credit report to correct errors, spot fraud, and thwart the increasing threat of identity theft. 

The 14 State region that included Mississippi is the last part of the country to get access to a FREE credit report.  Your right to one(1) free credit report per year is mandated under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003.

There is only one official website: www.annualcreditreport.com.

At this website, you can order a copy of all reports compiled by the three major credit-reporting agencies:  Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union.  This site can also be accessed through a link at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website: www.ftc.com.

You can also get your FREE credit report by calling toll free to:
1-877-322-8228.

You will need to provide your name, address (and previous address if you have moved recently), Social Security Number and date of birth. You will be asked to answer some authentication questions to make sure that it is you...and not somebody else...trying to get your information, such as when was your last mortgage or car payment.

People have reported that completing the forms can be a bit confusing.

WARNING: FAKE SITES

There are fake sites, and lots of them. Be on the lookout for fake "free-credit-reports" sites that lure you into buying credit monitoring services.  The Federal Trade Commission has already identified at least 130 such sites.  Here's the test:  If you are asked for your credit card number, you are likely at a fake site.  Pop-up ads or email messages claiming to be for the official web site are probably scams.

Which Credit Report Should I Request?

Ask for copies of all three agencies' reports...Equifax, TransUnion and Experian...as the information listed with each agency sometimes varies due to factors such as out-of-date listings or wrong account numbers.

What's In The FREE Credit Report?

The reports from the 2 major credit reporting agencies differ in style and appearance, but they all contain 4 basic categories of information:

  • Identifying Information
  • Credit History Information
  • Public Records Information
  • Inquiries For Your Information

What Your FREE Credit Report Does NOT Include.

Unlike the credit report, information about your credit score is NOT FREE.  But it's more important.  You score can affect many things, including your ability to get loans, your insurance premiums, and even your employment.

Scores range from 300 to 850 and are used to predict how likely you are to pay your bills on time.  The higher the score, the better off your are.

You can order a copy of your credit score, which is based largely on credit history, from all 3 major credit reporting agencies at the official site: www.annualcreditreport.com.

The fees for a copy of your credit score are as follows:

  • Equifax: $6.95
  • Experian: $5.00
  • TransUnion: $5.95

What Should I Do With My FREE Credit Report?

  • Check the entire report to make sure it is accurate and pay close attention to items such as loan balances, credit limits and past-due amounts.
     
  • Make sure that you recognize each account, including mortgages, loans and credit cards.  If you don't know the creditor, check it out.  Sometimes companies change their names, or it could be a fraudulent account.
     
  • Closely review all negative information to make certain the amounts and dates of delinquency match personal records.  Also look for out-of-date accounts.  Negative information should remain on credit reports only for seven (7) years.

How Do I Handle Disputed Information?

  • If you find an error or unknown entry on the report, you should notify both the creditor and the credit agencies (www.equifax.com, www.transunion.com and www.experian.com).
     
  • Credit reporting agencies usually have 30 days to investigate, make corrections and give customers an updated report that does NOT count as their annual freebie.
     
  • Document the dispute in writing.

Acknowledgement: All of the information contained on this page was obtained from News and Observer newspaper articles published on 8/28/05.  © THE NEWS AND OBSERVER PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Here is a link to those articles for more details and further information:  http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/2762981p-9201793c.html