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Credit Report Resources

Credit Report Resources

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Daniel Cohen
UpdatedDec 1, 2010
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    4 min read
Key Takeaways:
  • You can get a free credit report 12 months from each credit bureau.
  • A credit report contains your credit history and addresses where you have lived.
  • Correct any inaccuracies that appear on your report and review it regularly to protect yourself from identity theft.

What You Need to Know about Your Credit Report

Have you seen your credit report lately? Do you know what lurks in your credit report?

Your credit report contains tons of personal information that can be used in a variety of ways by many businesses, people and institutions. Because your credit report will impact many parts of your life, it is important that you know what a credit report contains, how it is used, and the best way for you to obtain and monitor your credit report.

Each of the three national credit bureaus is required by federal law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. Your credit report includes information on who you owe, how much you owe, where you live, and how timely you make payments to your creditors. A credit report, however, contains a lot more than just financial information; it shows whether you’ve been arrested, where you have lived, if anyone filed a legal judgment against you, or if you filed for bankruptcy in the past 10 years.

With the rise in identity theft, knowing how to monitor your credit report is more important than ever. Please use the information at to learn how best to get your credit report, understand the information on it, and how to correct any inaccuracies on your credit report.

Credit Report Questions

How do I Get a Copy of My Credit Reports?

Three major credit bureaus offer credit reports:

To get a copy of your credit report, contact one of these three bureaus. Each bureau interprets your credit information differently, so you might want to get reports from all three to see a full picture of your credit history.

Can I Get a Copy of My Credit Report at Any Time?

By law, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus annually. This can be accessed at You can also request a free copy of your credit report if you were denied credit; however, you can only request a copy from the specific credit bureau that supplied the credit report to the creditor who denied you.

What Information do Credit Bureaus Collect About Me?

Credit bureaus collect your payment information, identification, employment history, credit inquiries, and any additional public records and data.

Will Requesting a Credit Report Affect My Credit?

No. Requesting a credit report will not decrease your credit score. You have the right to look at your credit report without it harming your credit score. When you request your credit report it’s called a "consumer pull" and has no affect on your credit. The only time when requesting a credit report can affect your credit is when you ask a possible creditor to inquire about your credit. This is because it implies that you’re possibly opening a new line of credit.

Credit Report Articles and Advice

What is a Credit Rating and How is it Established?

A credit rating is simply someone's assessment of how well you would be able to pay back money lent to you. Usually, that "someone" is a credit reporting agency; however, creditors themselves will also make their own assessment, which is usually based on the score you receive from the credit reporting agencies and is determined by requirements that vary a great deal from one creditor to the next.

How to establish credit

How to Read Your Credit Report

Your credit report contains valuable information that you need to know how to interpret. Learn how to read and understand your credit report.

Understanding credit reports

Free Credit Report — Why You Need One

Discover the value of a free credit report, find out how to get one, and learn how to interpret the information it contains.

Free credit report

10 Tips to Improving Your Credit Report

Credit is something that some take lightly or give little thought to until it is really needed. Here are 10 things that you can do to make sure that your credit is always in good standing.

Improving credit reports

How to Report an Error on Your Credit Report

It is possible that when you review your credit report, you will find a discrepancy or two. Learn how to report errors you find on your credit report.

Credit report errors

Credit Questions & Answers

Have questions about your credit? Find answers to frequently asked credit questions and become a more informed consumer.

Credit questions

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Get rid of your debt faster with debt relief

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AAnonymous, Jun, 2019

Stay away from Kevin Mitnick who offers "cyber consulting" as a way to improve your credit score, for a fee. I got ripped off. I paid a fee and got nothing in return!

NNikita Schwarz, Dec, 2019

Great information!

WWarren, Dec, 2010
Good write up. I have been looking for a good summation of how I can improve and monitor my credit score. Thanks!