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How to Get a Free Annual Credit Report

“Where and how can we get a free annual credit report? Read this now to find out!”

Getting a Free Annual Credit Report

All Americans are entitled to a free credit report every year, from each of the three major credit bureaus. The free credit reports, which used to cost as much as $9.50 each, come as a result of the passage of the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

Thanks to the law, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, are each required to provide consumers, upon request, a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from a centralized source. This centralized source includes a Web site, a toll-free telephone number and a postal address.

The reports will not automatically be sent out. Consumers who want their credit reports must initiate the request in one of the following three ways.

1. Online:
Go to www.annualcreditreport.com, which is the only authorized source for consumers to access their annual credit report online for free. Be careful not to make a mistake in the URL — some opportunistic entrepreneurs have staked out the URLs that are close in spelling, and they’ll try to sell you the reports, instead of giving them for free.

2. By phone:
Call (877) 322-8228. This may be the choice for those who aren’t Internet-savvy.

3. By mail:
You may complete the form on the back of the Annual Credit Report Request brochure, and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.

You’ll be able to order all three credit reports at one time, or at different times throughout the year. It’s your choice. But be sure to order from the centralized agency. If you go directly to the credit reporting agencies, you will be charged unless you fit another criteria for a free report.

The 2003 law did not eliminate the other ways to receive a free credit report. You’re still entitled to a free credit report if: you’ve been denied a loan, insurance policy or job based on your credit report; you’re applying for unemployment or receive public assistance; and you currently reside in a state that already offers an annual free credit report from each credit reporting agency (Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont. Georgia residents are entitled to two free annual credit reports from each credit reporting agency). More at How to get your free credit report

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Credit Score: All You Need to Know

“Confused what Credit Score is? We’ll help you answer that question and more. Check this out now!”

All About Credit Score

Your credit score determines your eligibility for credit cards, home loans, car loans, student loans, apartment rentals and even certain job positions. It can mean the difference between a reasonable or exorbitant interest rate, and the difference between an affordable or excruciating insurance rate. There are few, if any, 3-digit numbers that hold so much power.

Where can I find my credit score?
Once a year, federal law entitles you to a free credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. If denied credit, you’re eligible for an additional report. To view your free credit report, simply go to AnnualCreditReport.com.

Unfortunately, getting a free credit score is a little more difficult and a bit more costly. You can obtain your credit score from a number of websites, but they all demand a membership fee. However, the fee generally comes with a grace period in which you can avoid paying if you cancel your account.

What is a credit score? And how is it different from a credit report?
Your credit score—also known as a FICO score—is a 3-digit number that summarizes your creditworthiness. Ranging from 300 (worst) to 850 (best), your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to pay back loans. Your primary score is determined by Fair Isaac Corporation (hence “FICO”) and is considered the most accurate assessment. The 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) also issue credit scores that vary slightly from bureau to bureau.

A credit report is an in-depth analysis of your creditworthiness issued by the credit bureaus, a detailed examination of the components that comprise your credit score. You’re entitled to a free report from each of the 3 bureaus once a year—twice if you’re rejected for credit. You should check your credit report regularly and report discrepancies immediately. Mistakes in credit reports happen more often than you might think and can have adverse effects on your credit score. You can view your free credit report (like really, truly, totally, 100% free) at AnnualCreditReport.com.

How is my credit score calculated?
Your credit score is contingent on a number of factors that can be summarized in 5 categories:

  • Payment History (35% of your FICO score): Making payments boosts your score. Missing payments destroys it. Recent history has a greater impact.
  • Amounts Owed (30% of your FICO score): Debt can hurt your score, though installment loans (like student loans) are actually beneficial if you keep up with payments. Your debt-to-credit-limit ratio is also important. Letting debt come too near your spending limit reflects poorly on your creditworthiness.
  • Length of Credit History (15% of your FICO score): The age of your accounts is taken into consideration. Old accounts earn more trust, while new accounts are regarded with suspicion.
  • New Credit (10% of your FICO score): This category looks at recent credit acquisitions and inquiries into your credit score. Too many new credit lines or too many inquiries in a short period of time look bad.
  • Types of credit used (10% of your FICO score): Different kinds of credit impact your score in different ways. The best way to score points here is to diversify your credit types.

How do I raise my credit score?
Establishing credit is easier than you might think. A good credit score starts with smart spending. More at What’s My Credit Score?

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Fast Instructions on How You Can Build Credit Fast

“Big question is on how you can build credit fast. A number of factors go into evaluating your credit worthiness. Many of these factors are affected by your length of credit history, or how long you have had credit. The more responsible you are with your credit, and the longer your history of responsible borrowing behavior, the better your credit will be. Below are instructions on how you can build credit fast”

Fix Your Credit Fast

Establishing a good credit score has never been as vital as it is in today’s society. Your credit rating will follow you around wherever you go. When you want to buy a home, your credit rating will determine how much interest you pay a month. It will determine how much you can borrow. Employer’s also review your credit score when you apply for a job. For young people, it is important to get on the right road in the beginning.

How to Build Your Credit Fast How To Have a Good Credit Rating Fast Instructions:
1. Check your credit rating for free with one of the free credit report websites. There are three main credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. You can read my article on how to get your credit history report for free in the resources section. Use FreeCreditReport.com or AnnualCreditReport.com, make sure to delete your account before the trial period is over so you don’t get charged.
2. Second option on how you can build credit fast is to put money into a checking account. People want to see bank account to know that you have some security in your life. Two accounts are a good idea, one checking and one savings. Pick your bank as to which ones have the most ATMs in your area for convenience. Interest earned in the accounts is trivial so it doesn’t really matter.
3. Understand what goes into your credit score. Research how the score is made up and pay attention. Two basic things to remember are that you need to pay your bills on time and don’t overuse your credit. It is better to not use credit than to pile up your bills and pay them off. Establishing good credit is not just about swiping your credit card and then paying it off.
4. Another thing to remember on how you can build credit fast is don’t max out your credit cards. This will not help establish a good credit score. Never charge more than a third of what your credit limit is.
5. Mix up the ways you borrow money. Get a loan for a used car, get a card for the market you go to. Also write checks to pay off your bills. Maybe have one credit card that you put your gas money on and then pay it off on time every month.
6. All in all, try to stay out of debt. If you are in debt, this essentially hurts your credit score. There are many resources for getting out of debt. Pay off your biggest interest rates first….. More at  Build Credit Fast – How to Build Credit Fast
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