Credit bureaus such as Equifax, Innovis, and Experian collect and prepare credit reports by gathering aggregate financial information of the consumers. These reports, such as Equifax free credit report, describes a person’s credit history in detail based on their personal details, employment history, social security number, the number of bank accounts held and balances in them, amongst other criteria. The people who are legally permitted to view a person’s credit reports are rental property owners, insurance companies, creditors, and employers. The purpose of creating these reports is to determine a person’s financial status, which can help them get a loan or assistance much easier. The benefits of procuring the credit reports from the bureaus are as follows:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles a citizen of the country to request three separate credit bureau reports from the institutions mentioned above on an annual basis. USA’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), vouches for the privacy and accuracy of the details of the person concerned in these reports. The consumer can log on to the annualcreditreport.com to get a credit report through either of the three institutions, as they cannot be contacted individually. A person usually receives the report within a period of 15 days via mail. You can also procure the Equifax free credit report online.
The advantages of a credit report, like Equifax free credit report, extend beyond just receiving credit credentials to buy a house, insure something, or gain employment. Such a report is a great way of tackling identity theft, wherein hackers use criminal methods to steal someone’s personal and financial information for their own benefit. To get the 3 credit reports is optional. Having a credit report is a great asset if a person is unemployed or being unfairly denied insurance, employment, or credit. In this case, the report can be requested for within 60 days of the action being taken.
Under the act, a customer can also dispute any wrong or inaccurate information in the report with the credit bureau agency or the information provider. This can be done through a letter specifically mentioning the errors along with the attached documentation as proof. The agency or provider can be reported to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with a complaint.
There can be some credit reports with or without credit scores and the customer must be careful about the same when applying for them. They are generally updated every month depending on the credit bureau that is asked to submit it. You can also get free credit scores from the three bureaus along with your credit reports. Some bureaus also provide an analysis of sorts by alerting customers and stopping them from activities that may lead to negative inclusions in the report, such as late payments and charge-offs which tend to accumulate for years.