Bad credit can be disastrous to one's financial being. In fact, a person who has a problem with their credit history may have trouble getting a mortgage, a car loan, or even a personal loan.
A person may have to pay higher insurance premiums, or even lose out on employment opportunities. One may also have to deal with a high-interest credit card because that is the only kind they can get.
However, there are ways a person can deal with this, starting by getting an official report. This is the way someone can tell what his or her credit rating is, and repair it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or rather FCRA, requires the nation's three credit reporting companies to provide free credit reports, at a person's request, every year. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax are the three major players, and all are involved in this process. There are four ways to get one.
The first way for a person to generate their free credit reports is to go online. The official website, annualcreditreport.com provides a way to get the reports free of charge. They can be ordered from each organization at the same time, or individually. This is the only authentic website a person should use. Many fake websites out there claim to give the reports, but take a person's money instead.
The next way to get a report is by calling the official toll-free telephone number. Call 1-877-322-8228 and order the report over the phone. This is the only phone number that a person should call. Again, there are unofficial phone numbers that promise the same thing but likely will not deliver.
The third way to get free credit reports is to fill out an official request form and send it to the annual credit report request service. The form is online. A person should not try to contact any of the three providers directly. That is what the website, phone number and mail-in options are for.
Finally, the fourth way to generate the report is by qualifying due to certain circumstances. For example, a person can get a free report if a company takes action against them. They are also available in certain instances if a person is unemployed, on welfare, or there is identity theft involved.
A person should not delay in getting free credit reports every 12 months. They are invaluable when it comes to a person's financial future.