The credit reporting lawyers at Markoff Leinberger in Chicago want you to know that you have a legal right to access a complimentary copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting companies. Looking at your credit report on a regular basis is an important way to ensure that the information about your financial affairs is accurate, and to ward off attempts at identity theft. However, there are companies and scams that take advantage of your credit reporting rights and if you suspect that you’ve been victimized by a credit reporting scam, you are entitled to take legal action. Our Chicago consumer protection attorneys are here to help. Please call us at 888-517-9115 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
How to Protect Your Credit
Here are five tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for managing your credit report and accessing the complimentary annual credit reports that are yours by law.
- Free Credit Report Tip No. 1: There is one, and only one, federally-commissioned website through which you should request a free credit report, and that website is annualcreditreport.com. You also can do this over the telephone by calling 1-877-322-8228. While there are other companies offering to provide you with free credit information, annualcreditreport.com is the one website where the country’s three main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — deliver information. Most other companies will try to get you to buy something in exchange for your free credit report, or enroll you in what is basically a prescription-based service.
- Free Credit Report Tip No. 2: You do not need to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies separately. You can access each of the company’s complimentary annual reports through the FTC commissioned website listed above. You can get them all at once, or spread out your three requests over the year.
- Free Credit Report Tip No. 3: You should be prepared to share the following information when you request your free credit report: Your name, address, birth date, and social security number. Never give out this information unless it is to a secure website. You should be especially wary of email solicitations or telephone calls that ask you to share such personal information.
- Free Credit Report Tip No. 4: You are entitled to more than one free credit report a year, but only in the aftermath of a negative credit event such as losing a car loan or job due to information contained in your credit report. You also may buy copies of your credit report at any time from any of the three credit reporting agencies.
- Free Credit Report Tip No. 5: When there are errors in your credit report, you should inform each of the three credit reporting agencies in writing. Should you feel dissatisfied with the way your dispute is being handled, you should consider contacting a consumer rights attorney. You may qualify for damages should the credit reporting agencies inaccurately report details of your financial affairs.
Monitoring your credit report is essential for securing loans and other financial services in the future. Tragically, predatory companies often use this fact to trick, cheat, and scam consumers into purchasing unnecessary products – often making a discontinuation of services next to impossible. If you suspect that you’ve been victimized by a credit reporting scam, please contact Markoff Leinberger online or by calling our Chicago consumer protection law firm at 888-517-9115 for a free case evaluation. We provide swift and aggressive legal representation to victims of credit report scams in Illinois and throughout the nation.