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Have You Checked Your Credit Report Lately?

Did you know you can get a copy of your credit report every year from each of the credit reporting agencies?

Checking your credit report periodically can prevent future problems because the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score.

To receive copies of your report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth to verify your identity.

Three nationwide credit reporting companines - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - maintain and sell credit reports. Each company may have different information, but that information most likely will be very similar.

By staggering the times you pull your credit reports, you can get one every four months. Set specific days of the year that you will check your credit report (for example: Jan. 1, May 1 and Sept. 1). Remember that you will not be receiving your credit score when you get your report.

What is in a Credit Report?

  • Identifying information
  • Public record information
  • Collection accounts
  • Credit account information
  • Inquiries

Disputing an Error

  • Write a letter to the credit reporting company.
  • Provide the information that is not accurate.
  • Explain why you believe it is not accurate.
  • Include copies of bills or cleared checks that show you have paid them, if possible.
  • Provide your address and phone number.
  • Make a copy of the letter before sending it.

Carrie Johnson, NDSU Extension Service Personal and Family Finance Specialist, 701-231-8593, carrie.johnson.1@ndsu.edu

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