Obtaining a Credit Report
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, amended a few years ago to beef up consumer privacy 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 are 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. Starting in 2004, the law also entitles you to receive a free credit report every 12 months.
Of course, you can also pay to obtain a credit report anytime. The three major credit reporting agencies, or credit bureaus, are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union (Dun & Bradstreet Credit Services provides credit reports of businesses):
A few states, including California and Connecticut, cap the fee at a slightly lower level.
Credit bureaus also offer a variety of bundled services related to your credit report. For example, Equifax and Experian presently offered a combination of your credit score and credit report for $14.95-$15.50.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act also entitles you to contact each or all of the major credit bureaus (and Innovis, a fourth credit bureau) and request them to stop sending you card solicitations and related offers. For more information, call 888-5OPTOUT (567-8688).