Here are some frequently asked questions — and their answers — about getting your credit score free:
Q: Why would I a free copy of my credit score?
A: It contains a summary of information that could determine whether or not you can get a loan — and how much that loan will cost you in interest charges.
That said, you want a copy of your credit score to:
* Be certain the information is accurate.
You want accurate, up to date credit information going to the mortgage company before you buy a house, and/or to the auto finance company before you buy a car. If you are buying insurance they will look at your credit report. If you are applying for a job, they may also look at your credit score. A lot is riding on this! Make sure the credit information is current and complete.
* Stop identity theft.
It is important now, more than ever, that you do everything you can to stop someone from using your name, Social Security number, or your credit card number in order to commit fraud. How would you feel if someone used your name social security number to open a new credit card account in your name — and then charge hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in purchases? If they do this, you can be certain they have no intention of paying the bill. So the delinquent account will be reported on your credit report. Check your credit report to see if there are any credit card or loan accounts that you don’t remember opening.
Q: How do I get my free credit score?
A: There are three national credit reporting agencies that cooperate in a program to give you a free credit score once a year.
And there several ways to get that information:
* A central website
* A toll-free telephone number
* Via a mailing address
You’ll need to complete a form called “The Annual Credit Report Request Form.” Once you’ve done that, you will mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
You can you can get a copy of the form from the Federal Trade Commission website: ftc.gov
You’re allowed to order one free credit score from each of these nationwide consumer reporting companies in a twelve month period. You can do it all at the same time or if it is more convenient, you can do them one at a time. But don’t contact these three companies directly. They will only provide your annual free credit score through one of these three methods.
Q: What do I need to submit when I order my free credit score?
A: You will need to provide the following information:
* Your name
* Social Security number
* Date of birth
If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address.
They’ll ask you for some information that is unique to you and your financial history. For example, they may ask you to tell them the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.
Q: How long does it take?
A: If you request your report online, they’ll begin processing it right away. If you order it by phone, it may take as long as 15 business days. If you order it by mail, it will be mailed to you within a similar length of time.