A credit score is a number that rates your credit risk, at one point in time. It can help creditors determine whether to give you credit, decide the terms you are offered, or the rate you will pay for the loan. Having a high score can benefit you in many ways, including making it easier for you to obtain a loan, rent an apartment, and lower your insurance rate.
The information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. That’s why it’s important to make sure your credit report is accurate. You can have multiple credit scores, created by different companies or lenders that use their own credit scoring system.
Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score, but it’s available for a fee. When you buy your score, you often get information on how you can improve it.
Credit Report Scores
Credit reports contain information about your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. They show where you work and live and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
Credit reports help lenders decide whether or not to extend you credit or approve a loan, and determine what interest rate they will charge you. Prospective employers, insurers, and rental property owners may also look at your credit report.
Free Credit Reports
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months. You can request all three reports at once, or space them out throughout the year. Learn about other situations in which you can request a free credit report.
Request your free credit report:
Call 1-877-322-8228. Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TTY service by calling 711 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232.
Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If your request for a free credit report is denied:
Contact the credit reporting agency (CRA) directly to try and resolve the issue. The CRA should inform you of the reason they denied your request and explain what to do next. Often, you will only need to provide information that was missing or incorrect on your application for a free credit report.
If you are unable to resolve your dispute with the CRA, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).