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Requesting a credit report

The information in your credit report determines in large part what kind of credit, from car loans to credit cards to mortgages, you'll be able to get. Federal law gives you the right to know what consumer credit information is collected on you and you need to exercise that right.

Check your credit report periodically to ensure that all the information is correct and to guard against your credit being assumed by identity thieves. You can be very aggressive with your credit management and pull your score with some regularity. Or you can take a more passive approach, checking once a year to see the status of your credit. Regardless of which approach you take, it's not hard to get a copy of your credit report.

There are three major credit reporting bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You should get a copy of your report from each. The cost generally is around $10 per report, but depending on where you live and your credit history, you may be able to get a free copy.

You can request a copy online; the links in the letter below will take you to each company's Web site where you can get more details on obtaining your credit report. Make a separate request of each agency.

Many people, however, prefer the old-fashioned mail system when it comes to dealing with transmission of personal financial data. If you are more comfortable asking for a copy via a letter, then simply use this form and send a separate letter to each agency.

Personalize the form letter below by entering your specifics in the areas in red. You can print out this Web page and make your changes by hand or copy the body of the letter and paste it into a document where you can make your changes on your PC.

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Date

Equifax Credit Information Services Inc.
https://www.econsumer.equifax.com/consumer/forward.ehtml?forward=home
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

TransUnion LLC
http://www.transunion.com/Personal/OrderOtherMethods.jsp
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

Experian
http://www.experian.com/consumer/index.html
National Consumer Assistance Center
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

Re: Request a credit report

Dear Sir or Madam:

In accordance with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, I am sending this letter to request a copy of my credit report.

To expedite my request, here is my personal information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your full address (street, city, state, ZIP Code)
  • Your home telephone number

Please include all sources for the information and the complete records of any distribution of credit information to any parties by any sources.

Enclosed, you will find my payment of amount to cover cost of the report.

If you are seeking a copy of your credit report because you recently were denied credit, mention that here. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you request it within 60 days of the date that a creditor said "no" because of something in your file. Let the credit agency know that's why you want your report:

On [specific date] I was declined credit by [name of creditor]. Enclosed you will find a copy of the letter from the creditor refusing me credit. Please do not share this information with any other agency.

Any other details you would like to add about the report or your credit in general should be detailed here.

Thank you for your prompt attention to my request.

Your Signature
Your Typed Name
Your Address
City, State and ZIP Code

 

-- Posted: Oct. 23, 2003
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See Also
Correct credit errors quickly
Keeping personal data up to date
Cracking down on credit info leaks
READ MORE: Why your credit report matters

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