With so many people falling on hard economic times, there has been an increased awareness placed on keeping tabs on your credit score. To capitalize on this increased awareness, several phony credit report websites have popped up on the internet claiming to offer free access to your credit report. While most of these websites will give you access to your credit report, they will charge you a monthly fee for this access and are not really “free” like they claim.
Real Credit Report Website
There is only one true website in which you can get your free annual credit report, and that is www.annualcreditreport.com. This website is backed by the federal government and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which states that every consumer is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from all three of the major credit reporting bureaus. The FTC passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act so that consumers can have greater insight into what affects their credit score, and how they can improve their rating.
Annualcreditreport.com will give you access to all 3 credit reports, allowing you to make sure there are not any discrepancies between credit reporting bureaus. Should you find an error from any of these bureaus there are steps you can take to have them correct it. In order to dispute these errors you will need to write a letter to the creditor that is reporting the false information. Providing documented evidence of this error is also required, and a great way to help prove your case. For more detailed instructions on how to dispute an error in your credit report you can visit the FTC’s website here.
If you do not find any errors on your credit report you can focus on your FICO score to see if you need to make any changes in your consumer behavior.
FICO Score Explained
Your FICO score can range from 300-850 with 650 being an average FICO score. Anything below 600 is considered a bad credit rating, while anything over 720 is considered a good credit rating. The better your FICO score the easier it will be for you to be approved for various lines of credit, loans and home mortgages. Should you discover that you have a “bad” credit rating, you will want to take immediate action to improve your score. This includes paying all outstanding debts, paying your current bills on time and not opening any new lines of credit. If you take the appropriate steps to improve your FICO score, your rating will improve along with your chances of securing loans in the future.