The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you one free credit report each year from each of the three reporting agencies. These are TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. You can contact these credit agencies directly and get your free credit report every 12 months.
In addition to getting an annual government free credit report, you are also entitled to get a credit report from a reporting agency that provides negative information about you that results in the denial of a loan application or credit card application. In most cases, identity theft is not discovered until the victim applies for a loan. When they take a look at their credit report, they are shocked to find charges and loans that do not belong to them.
Identity thieves are very clever. They use clever ruses to get your credit cards in the mail and change the address to their own. They usually use a mail service where they can obtain mail without giving identification. They reroute credit card information to this address and say that you have lost the card. Once they have the card, they can use it in your name. In addition to getting a government free credit report if you have been turned down for a loan, you should also seek out your credit history if you receive credit cards in the mail that you have not ordered. This is a clue that you are about to be a victim of identity theft. The thief will assume you have torn up the card, contact the company and change the address. You will never know something is wrong until you apply for a loan. By that time, thousands of dollars can be wracked up in charges.
You should also make sure that you examine your credit reports if you become a victim of a theft. If your purse or wallet is stolen, it is important to monitor your credit as many times a thief will not use the credit card but report it stolen and change the address. They can then get a new credit card issued in your name that can be used against your card. You must be sure to report any cards stolen immediately.
Taking advantage of the government free credit report law that entitles you to a free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus is a good way to keep track of your credit. You can catch errors which are often part of these reports as well as stave off identity theft, which is a prevalent problem in the United States and throughout the world.
Your credit and good name are important to you and you have worked hard to attain them. Protect both by taking advantage of the government free credit report offered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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