Credit reporting agencies maintain electronic records of your credit activities. Today, there are three major national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. If you are planning on applying for a loan or credit anytime in the near future, it’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report.
For a fee, you can request a copy of your credit report at anytime by contacting one or more of the major credit agencies. Or you can receive a free copy of your credit report through one of the many credit companies available on the Internet. Our favorite source of information on credit reporting agencies on the Web is
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was amended a few years ago to beef up consumer privacy. Under its rules, you are legally entitled to obtain your credit report from a credit reporting agency. This includes receiving a list of everyone that has requested your report.
If you have been denied credit based on information in your credit report (the creditor must provide a reason for denial), you have 60 days from the day you receive a denial notice to receive a free copy of the credit report. Additionally, the law also entitles you to receive a free credit report every 12 months if you are unemployed and seeking work within the next 60 days, are on welfare or if your report is inaccurate as a result of credit fraud.