One of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to monitor your credit history. Now you can do it for free. Thanks to the new federal law, consumers receive a free credit report each year from the three national credit bureaus. These are Equifax, Experian, and the TransUnion. You can also get your report for free from a “professional” credit bureau. These companies prepare jobs, insurance claims, leases and other historical reports.
Checking your credit report at least once a year is a good way to spot identity theft. And the sooner you discover identity theft, the easier it is to clean up. You can also find errors in your credit reports that could increase the cost of credit
National Consumer Reporting Agency
Four national consumer credit reporting agencies, also known as the Credit Bureau, are Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and the TransUnion. They edit consumer credit history. Your credit history includes information from financial institutions, utilities, landlords, insurance companies, and more. The credit bureau provides your information to potential lenders, insurance companies, landlords, and employers. You have the right to receive a free copy of your credit history in the following situations:
- If the company denies your credit or makes another adverse decision based on your credit history;
- If you are unemployed,
- If you have benefits, and
- If your report is not accurate due to fraud.
You also have the right to receive a free report from each credit bureau every year.
How to Order Free Annual Reports from Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and theTransUnion
Contact the following four consumer reporting companies for a free fraud number to add a fraud alert to your credit report. You just need to contact one of the three companies to as for your credit report
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; PO Box Atlanta, GA 30374-0241, Block 740241
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
- Innovis: 1-800-540-2505; https://www.innovis.com/personal/creditReport, 875 Greentree Road, 8 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
You can order a free annual credit report online with a free phone number, or by mailing the order form at the end of this information sheet.
By Phone:1-877-322-8228 and /or online: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
By Mail, simply write to get your free credit report with the following address Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can choose to request all three reports at once or leave them out of the way. You can create a free version of credit monitoring service. Just order a free report from one credit bureau and then get a free report from another credit rating agency four months later. This method will not give you a complete picture at any time. Not all creditors provide information to all agencies. Credit bureau monitoring service costs increased from around $ 40 a year to over $ 100.
How to check your credit report
To check your report for errors or possible signs of identity theft, pay special attention to three areas.
- Check the personal information or personal data section. Look for addresses you have never lived before. Make sure your name and its variants, your social security number and your employer are correct
- Check the account section. Find accounts that you did not open. Find your higher-than-expected balance on your legal account.
- Find a query or request for a credit history you did not provide. There are two types of queries. A “regular” or “hard” query is generated when you apply for credit or transfer an account to a payee. Here’s a query that you should check for possible identity theft or error. The other is “promotional” or “soft” inquiries, does not mean that there is a problem. This type includes pre-approved credit quotes, employment checks, account monitoring of existing creditors and your own request for a report.
You can view the Sample Credit Report on the websites of the three credit bureaus, explaining the different sections: experian.com, transunion.com, equifax.com / home / en_us
How to correct the error on your credit report
If you find anything you think is incorrect, please contact the credit bureau immediately. You can call the number on the report to contact the staff of the credit bureau. If you find evidence of identity theft, the next steps to be taken include contacting any creditor involved in the closure of the fraudulent account and submitting the police report. Please refer to the “List of Victims of Identity Theft” on our website for more information on how to proceed.
Professional consumer reporting agency
Special consumer reporting agencies prepare consumer history reports for specific purposes. These reports include employment, insurance claims, housing rentals, check writing and medical records. If you’re planning to buy homeowners or car insurance, open a checking account, apply for private health or life insurance, or rent a home or apartment, consider ordering a professional report.
Property Insurance Claim Report: Insurers regularly check for such reports when you apply for homeowners or car insurance. One of the reports is a CLUE report (consolidated loss underwriting transaction) .2 The CLUE report contains information on claims for loss of property from homeowners insurance and motor vehicle insurance. CLUE reports contain personal information, such as your name, date of birth, and social security number. It also contains a record of any claim for loss of property in the car or homeowner that you submit to the insurance company. It includes the type of loss, the date of loss, and the amount the insurance company pays. It lists the companies that have queried or checked your claim history.
Another property damage report is called A-PLUS (Automated Property Loss Underwriting System). A-PLUS database compiled by a small company, the use of CLUE database is low. You can order CLUE reports and A-PLUS free every 12 months.
Tenant historical reports: Landlords sometimes check your tenant history as well as your credit history. You can order a tenant historical report for free every 12 months.
Work Experience Report: Employers sometimes check your work experience while applying for a job. Your current employer may also check your history. You must agree with current or future employers to check your history. If any employer requires your background checks, state and federal law give you a free copy of the report.
You can also get a free version every 12 months. If you are often denied applying for a job, consider ordering a “job history report.”
Medical Coverage Report: When you apply for health or life insurance in your own capacity, insurers often check with the Medical Information Bureau (rather than as part of a group plan). Insurance companies provide MIB information about the client’s medical conditions that the company considers important. The MIB’s report contains code for specific medical conditions and lifestyle choices. For example, diseases such as asthma and diabetes, and activities such as smoking or high altitude exercise such as skydiving.
The report from the MIB includes the nature of any MIB information, the name of the company that reported the MIB information to you, and the name of the company that received a copy of the MIB record in the past 12 months.
You may not be in the MIB database. If you did not apply for personal health or life insurance, MIB may not have your records. You can order a free MIB report every 12 months.
How to Order a Free Annual Report from a Professional Consumer Reporting Agency
All of these reports are ordered via the automated telephone system. You are asked to provide personal information, including your Social Security number, to identify your files. In some cases, you will receive an order, fill in and mail it.
- CLUE personal property and/or automatic reporting
Call ChoiceTrust: 866-312-8076
- A-PLUS Loss History Report
Call the A-PLUS Consumer Reports request line at 800-627-3487
- Workplace Solutions Inc. Work Experience Report
Call ChoiceCrust 866-312-8075
- Resident Data Company Tenants History Report
Please call ChoiceTrust at 877-448-5732
Call MIB: 866-692-6901