NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Checked Your Credit Report Lately?

Checked Your Credit Report Lately?


            The data breacha t Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, has made many people very nervous – and for reliable reasons.  Checking your credit report periodically can prevent future problems as the information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Carrie Johnson, Family Finance specialist, with the NDSU Extension Service reminds us of how to obtain a copy of your credit report every year from each of the credit reporting agencies?

            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 the 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 on which 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.

            The first part of your credit report includes identifying information. This includes your name, current address and other information that can be used to identify you. The public record section will contain any public record data of a financial nature, including bankruptcies, judgments and state or federal tax liens. Another section includes any collection agency account information and the status of those accounts.

            The report also contains credit account information. This includes accounts you have opened and closed. A lot of information is included for each of the credit accounts you have, such as the company name, account number, date opened, last activity, credit limit and any late payments.

            The final section of your credit report includes inquiries made. Companies will look at your credit report when you apply for credit or when they review your account.

            If you find something incorrect on your credit report, you should dispute it. You may contact the credit reporting company or the company that provided the incorrect information. The company will have 30 days to investigate your claim and another 15 days if you submit additional information after the original disput.

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