annual credit report safe

Do you think that getting a free Credit Report is Safe?

A credit report is a valid, important document. It can help you get the mortgage you need, a brand new car, or even a student loan. It could affect the credit card you are approved for and even an application for a job. A complimentary credit report can be safe If you’re careful with the website where you receive the report.

Three leading credit agencies issue the following credit report: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are among the most secure methods to get your credit report that ultimately impacts your credit score.

Key TAKEAWAYS

  • The three Credit Bureaus Experian Equifax and TransUnion offer credit reports.
  • Phishing is a cybercrime that could occur when you apply for your credit card.
  • You can guard yourself against cyber-crime by not clicking hyperlinks to fraudulent sites.

Make sure you request your credit history.

The most common website for consumers to receive free credit reports is AnnualCreditReport.com. In 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allowed every consumer access to an annual free credit report. The three major credit bureaus worked together to create AnnualCreditReport.com for this purpose.

The website is secured with SSL security and can be regarded as a secure website. You can request your credit report (Annual Credit Report Request Service) from each agency every year. Some users would like to request a report from each agency every four months to get free credit reports every quarter.

Experian is the one credit company that can provide your FICO score. If you would like a FICO score from either Equifax or TransUnion, you’ll need to pay fees to the respective agencies.

Some major credit card issuers, such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo, give cardholders free credit scores. Interestingly, an increasing number of issuers of credit cards are providing no-cost credit scores to anyone–not just cardholders. For instance, you do not require an account with a credit card or accounts with Chase or Discover to check your credit score free of charge.

Get Free Reports

An alternative is to directly visit one of the credit bureau agencies’ websites (Experian.com, TransUnion.com, and Equifax.com). While TransUnion will direct you to annualcreditreport.com, you can get a free credit report directly from Experian’s and Equifax’s websites.

Each bureau is legally required to allow consumers to obtain a complimentary credit report annually. If you are a victim of fraud, you could be eligible to get free credit reports, and the law says that if a business takes action to pursue you in a lawsuit, you may get no-cost credit scores. Suspicious behavior or unfamiliar accounts might be indicators of identity theft. Examine your credit reports to identify any issues early on. This law applies to insurance, employment, denial of credit, and any judgments or reports of credit from collection agencies. Consumers can request the free credit reports within 60 days of learning of suspect illegal activity.

Tips to ensure Security

Phishing is becoming a phenomenon in the world of cybercrime. It’s the practice of presenting something as legitimate to get you to give your personal information to a third party, particularly the Social Security numbers. Many of these attacks are carried out through emails or websites that appear legitimate at first glance, but they’re created to deceive you. Here are some tips to safeguard yourself

  • Do not click or go to the website via email, as it can lead to these fake websites.
  • Always examine the URL of the site within the address bar. If you see anything that appears suspicious, for example, the spelling of incorrect words or a word that is not correct, don’t proceed.
  • Secure your personal computers with passwords, tablets, laptops, and mobile phones.
  • Be wary of sharing or providing any personal information via social media. Don’t divulge or publish any information about your Social Security number or your actual birthday.

The Bottom Line

Free credit reports are an excellent way for consumers to keep track of and discover ways to increase the quality of their credit scores. However, with cybercrime, such as Phishing on the rise, it is crucial that you know the risks and only go to legitimate websites.

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Author D Laidler

I am David, economist, originally from Britain, and studied in Germany and Canada. I am now living in the United States. I have a house in Ontario, but I actually never go.  I wrote some books about sovereign debt, and mortgage loans. I am currently retired and dedicate most of my time to fishing. There were many topics in personal finances that have currently changed and other that I have never published before. So now in Business Finance, I found the opportunity to do so. Please let me know in the comments section which are your thoughts. Thank you and have a happy reading.

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Late Payment Implications

It is highly recommended to contact the lender if late payment is expected or considered possible. In this case, late payment fees and charges may be implied. Federal and state regulations are determined for the cases of late payment and may vary from case to case. All the details concerning the procedures and costs associated with late payment are disclosed in loan agreement and should be reviewed prior to signing any related document. 

Non-payment Implications

Financial and non-financial penalties may be implied in cases of non-payment or missed payment. Fees and other financial charges for late payment are to be disclosed in loan agreement. Additional actions related to non-payment, such as renewals, may be implied upon given consent. The terms of renewal are to be disclosed in each loan agreement individually. Additional charges and fees associated with renewal may be applied. 

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Non-payment and late payment may have negative impact on the borrowers’ credit standing and downgrade their credit scores, as the lenders may report delinquency to credit bureaus, including but not limited to Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. In this case the results of non-payment and late payment may be recorded and remain in credit reports for the determined amount of time.