Now more than ever it is important for consumers to view their consumer credit reports. Identity theft is reported to be the fastest growing crime and the number one complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov for the past five years. Many businesses are reviewing consumer credit reports on prospective employees, and insurance companies and landlords may require that you give permission for a credit check. For these important reasons, consumers should be aware of what is on their credit report.
Your Free Annual Credit Reports:
Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) consumers can obtain their free credit reports once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com or by phone: 877-322-8228 or mail at:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your Rights to Additional Free Credit Reports:
Anyone can request an additional free credit report for the following reasons:
- You have been denied credit, insurance, housing, or employment within the previous 60 days.
- You have been a victim of identity theft and have reason to believe that information is incorrect due to fraud.
- You are without employment and plan to apply for employment within the next 60 days.
- You are receiving public assistance.
- If a negative decision, in whole or in part, has been made in relation to the information that is in your credit report. e.g. declined for a credit line increase.
- If your credit report has been modified due to an investigation that you requested.
- You live in the following states where the law states that you have the right to a free credit report:
- Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont and Georgia. (Georgia residents have the right to receive two annual credit reports free.)
Nationwide Specialty Consumer Reporting Companies:
FACTA includes free annual consumer reports from these agencies too!
ChexSystems is a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency that collects and maintains information from member financial institutions such as banks and credit unions. If a bank closes your checking account because of insufficient funds, for example, it will make a report to ChexSystems that other banks will check when you apply for new accounts.
Toll-free number: (800) 428-9623. On the web: https://www.chexsystems.com/web/chexsystems/consumerdebit/page/requestreports/consumerdisclosure/
Shared Check Authorization Network (SCAN) is owned by Deposit Payment Protection Services (DPPS) SCAN maintains a database of returned checks and instances of fraud. It provides check authorization and verification to its members, primarily retailers.
Toll-free number: (800) 262-7771 (U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico) Fax: (800) 358-4506
To Order by Mail: Print the order form from the www.chexsystems.com website and mail to:
Deposit Payment Protection Services, Inc.
Attn: Consumer Referral Services
7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
To Order by FAX: Fax the order form to 800-358-4506
TeleCheck – maintains a database of returned checks and instances of fraud. It provides check authorization and verification to member retailers.
Toll-free number: (800) TELECHECK (800-835-3243 not necessary to dial last 2 digits).
TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Houston, Texas 77056
Declined Check Information: (800) 366-2425
Medical Insurance Bureau MIB – Maintains medical records or payments. https://www.mib.com/facts_about_mib.html
First Advantage SafeRent (Formerly known as Unlawful Detainer Registry UDR)- maintains residential or tenant history.
Choicepoint maintains employment history for background checks.
CLUE – maintains insurance claims information.
If you find inaccurate information reporting, the Fair Credit Reporting Act dispute process is the same for all above reporting agencies. Sample disputes letters can be found on page 113 of credit.org’s book, Consumer Guide to Good Credit, which is available for free download in English and Spanish.