January 26, 2012
– New web page helps consumers get free credit reports, avoid imposter sites
– Consumers Union petition calls for credit scores to be included in your credit report
WASHINGTON — If you resolved to get your finances in order in 2012, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of ConsumerReports, has some good advice: Get a copy of your free credit report.
Consumers Union has a new web page at www.consumersunion.org/creditreport with information on how to get your free credit report, how to fix mistakes in the report, and why it’s so important to check your report every year.
The law says you’re entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
But if you go online for a credit report, there are companies pushing dubious offers that may wind up costing you money. Consumers Union’s new page helps you cut through the clutter to get the free information you need.
“Your credit report is an important tool for keeping track of your credit history and planning for your financial future,” said Pamela Banks, Senior Policy Counsel for Consumers Union. “This new page gives you the facts you need to get your report and avoid the imposter sites.”
Your credit report shows how much you owe on your credit cards, your mortgage, and other accounts, and it tells whether you pay your bills on time. Lenders look at your credit report to made big decisions about you, such as whether to approve you for a loan. You should check your credit report every year, correct any errors you find — and make sure no one’s using your identity to run up charges in your name.
However, as helpful as a credit report is, Consumers Union points out that there is one thing missing from that report – your credit score. Your credit score is a rating based on the information in your credit report.
You might assume that your credit score is included in your report, but it isn’t. If you want your scores, you typically have to pay for them. Consumers Union is asking the federal government to change that, and it wants consumers to join in.
So, in addition to providing credit report information, the new Consumers Union site features a petition urging lawmakers and regulators to make sure you get a free credit score – the same score that companies use to make decisions about you – in your annual free report.
For more information, visit www.consumersunion.org/creditreport.