The Center For Debt Management
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You Have The Right To A Free Credit Report
From or 877-322-8228.
The ONLY Authorized Source Under Federal Law.
Take Me To The Authorized Source

How and Where
To Obtain Your Credit Report

There are actually hundreds of credit bureaus located throughout the country. Most credit bureaus, however, rely on one of the three major “Credit Reporting Agencies” (CRA’s) as their source of information: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. While having only three major CRA’s to contend with lifts some of the burden from consumers, the problem is the information on your consumer report may vary with each CRA. In other words, each consumer has “three” consumer reports, one filed with each of the CRA’s.

While it is conceivable that each report is virtually identical, the fact is, there are often major differences. This is especially true for older consumers who have established many credit accounts though the years. One of the reasons for discrepancies is that creditors and information providers may only report to one of the CRA’s. In addition, one of the major problems with consumer reports is incorrect and outdated information contained in the reports. The reason for these errors are many. The CRA, for example, often mismatches the name of one consumer with that another consumer, thereby inserting the report in the wrong credit file. Confusion with names, social security numbers, addresses, employers and other information is also a major cause of misinformation. There are errors in reporting due to illegible handwriting and typo's, and presumably, due to fatigue of the person providing the report or the CRA representative inputting the report into the consumer's credit file.

Whatever the case, derogatory information on your credit report can severely damage your chances of qualifying for a loan or a line of credit, be it for a credit card, a mortgage or any consumer goods or services. Additionally, it can even affect your chances of getting a good job or renting a place to live. Today, most banks, creditors, landlords, and a growing number of employers, rely on credit reports for obtaining information and making decisions. In an age when credit files are easily stored in computer files and can be transmitted on request worldwide in a matter of moments, establishing a good consumer report is not only smart, but essential for most consumers wanting a better life.

In addition to reading this article, it is suggested that you also read “What is contained in the typical credit report” for a better understanding of what information may be included in your report. It is also very important for consumers to understand their rights under the “Fair Credit Reporting Act.

One of these rights is to find out what is in your file. At your request, a CRA must give you the information in your file and a list of everyone who has requested it recently. There is no charge for the report if the person has taken action against you, such as denying credit, insurance or employment, because of information supplied by the CRA.

You are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report
from a credit reporting agency if:

  • You have been denied credit, insurance or employment within the past sixty (60) days based on information in a credit report provided by such agency.

  • You certify in writing you are unemployed and intend to apply for employment during the sixty (60) day period beginning on the date on which you made such certification.

  • You are a recipient of public welfare assistance.

  • You have reason to believe that your file at such credit reporting agency contains inaccurate information due to fraud.

In addition, under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) every consumer is entitled receive a free annual credit report. Otherwise, a consumer reporting agency may impose a reasonable charge for providing you with a copy of your credit report.

Please note that this website and our organization does not provide free credit reports. As noted, you have the right to a free annual credit report from or 877-322-8228, which is the ONLY authorized source under federal law. To get your free annual credit report go to

Below we have included the addresses and telephone numbers of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you are requesting a copy of your report due to being denied credit, insurance, employment or whatever because of information provided by a CRA, you can write to, or call the CRA that "provided" the information causing the denial. The CRA, in turn, in compliance with the FCRA, will send you a free copy of the report provided to the person who denied your application. It is important that you understand that only the CRA that provided the information is obligated to send you a free report. You will know which one because, by law, the person that rejected your application must inform you why you are being denied and the source of their information.

If you have not been denied, but are entitled to one free report as outlined above, you can write to, or call each of the CRA’s and request a copy of your report. You must certify the reason for making the request.

Under the listing below for each credit reporting agency, in addition to the address and telephone numbers of each CRA, we have also included the cost of the report and the information that is requested by each of the CRA’s. While similar, there are different requirements.

Lastly, we offer a word of caution. Ensuring that your consumer report contains accurate information is extremely important. If you are in the process of establishing or repairing your credit report, it is also wise to ensure that your credit file with each of the CRA’s is updated and has a complete record of your personal data. For example, your correct name, current address, telephone number, social security number, employment history, etc. If you are currently being sought after by creditors and collection agencies, however, you need to take precautions when requesting your report. The information you provide the CRA when making your request is sure to be included as an update to your file. For example, if you include an unlisted telephone number when making your request, it will be included in your file. As an added precaution, note that CRA’s request verification of residency. A utility bill, such a telephone bill, is acceptable for this verification. Be aware, however, that any and all numbers listed on the telephone bill, including unlisted numbers, may be included on your report. Depending on your particular circumstances, be extremely cautious of what information you provide the credit reporting agencies.

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