Credit Reports: What You Need to Know

Posted on: August 10, 2021
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.

Understanding Your Credit Report

A recent study found that more than 1 in 3 people who checked their credit reports found errors.  Your credit report is crucial when seeking to buy or rent a home, purchase or lease a car, buy insurance, or even get a job.  Your credit report shows lenders how reliable you might be; and, if there are mistakes, you could miss out on things that are rightfully yours.

Reviewing Your Credit Report

There are 3 national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.  You have the right to get free copies of your credit report from each of these three bureaus once every 12 months, except:

  • At least until April 2022, during the pandemic, you can get a free credit report each week from all three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) at
  • Until the end of 2026 you. can get another six free Equifax credit reports per by visiting the Equifax website or by calling 1-866-349-5191.
  • You can get a report when you have been recently hurt by your credit report. (See below.)

When the annual limits are in effect, if you want to keep a close eye on the accuracy and completeness of your reports, you can stagger the requests among the 3 agencies throughout the year.  To get these free reports, simply visit or call 1-877-322-8228.  Once you receive your credit report, review all personal information, accounts, and inquiries to see if they are accurate.  It is vital that you regularly review your credit report to spot errors, fraud, or identity theft should they occur.

What to Do if a Company Takes Action Against You because of Your Credit Report

Because of what it sees on a credit report about you, a company may

  • deny you credit,
  • deny you services like housing or insurance, or
  • deny you a job
  • or take other “adverse action” against you t

If it does, you can get a free credit report if you ask for it within 60 days of getting notice of the company’s action. The company must send you a notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the credit bureau that provided your report. This copy does not count against the “once in 12 months” limit.

You are also entitled to another free report each year if:

  • you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days
  • you’re on welfare
  • your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
Read Full Article