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Understanding what “Free Credit Report” means – I

Understanding the ‘Free’ in ‘Free Credit Report’ – Part I –

Introduction to Credit Reports

Monitoring your current credit status, through requesting annual credit reports is an important step in responsible financial management. This is particularly true for those who intend to purchase a home that will be secured by a mortgage. By obtaining copies of your credit reports, you can check for reporting errors, monitor for fraud and identity theft, and assess your credit history.
Given the overabundance of companies which appear to offer seemingly free credit reports, it is no surprise that consumers are often confused as to which credit reporting agency to obtain a report from, let alone which information is actually free. As loan officers, we understand the value of credit history. Accordingly, the following is provided by
 to clarify consumer questions and concerns regarding credit reports and their associated agencies.

It is first necessary to distinguish between the various credit reporting agencies. There are three federally recognized credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report every twelve months from each of three aforementioned nationwide credit reporting agencies. Because the FCRA is a federal act, which is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers are entitled to a free report whether residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, or another jurisdiction regulated by the U.S. federal government.

The recommended method to obtain your free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies is by submitting a request to the official government service, also referred to as the Central Source, which has been set up to assist consumers in obtaining the free information for which they are legally entitled to receive. Through submitting a request utilizing the official central source, consumers can avoid falling victim to imposter sites, some of which may ask you to enter personal information and then later request payment, and others offering a free trial period, which if not cancelled within the time required time period, can result in service charges. Another method employed by imposter sites is by using a web address that is very similar to the official central source web address, but is actually off by one character or more. Consumers should also take precaution with websites having a seemingly government-supported web address, such as those stating both “federal” and “free.” In summation, there is only one official central government source from which to obtain free copies of your credit report.

If you have any questions or concerns about your credit report 
please feel free to contact 
Casey Moseman at 702-271-1274


1 comment on “Understanding what “Free Credit Report” means – I”

  1. Pingback: Mortgage After Bankruptcy: How to Buy a Home After Money Trouble

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