As a result of the financial crisis and its fallout, I lost my job. Like many Americans, my wife and I did the best we could with our finances but we decided she had to declare bankruptcy. We jointly shared a Visa credit card through GTE Financial Credit Union here in Tampa Bay area that Continue Reading
Consumers living throughout the U.S. now have the right to order a free copy of their credit report thanks to a federal law, known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), adopted by Congress in 2003. Because credit reports are free, consumers have better access to this important document and can take steps to make sure it offers a fair picture of their credit history.
Your credit is one of your most important assets. Having good credit means you should have more options to borrow money at the lowest cost and from the best lenders. It also means that others who look at your credit — such as landlords, insurance companies, or even prospective employers — are less likely to turn you away or penalize you because you have poor credit.
Take the first step to find out where you stand in the credit world. Get a copy of your consumer credit report and credit score.
Your consumer credit report should contain accurate and up-to-date information about your credit history and behavior. Having your consumer credit report and credit score in hand lets you see what your creditors or those who base decisions on your credit will see. If you discover mistakes, you can have them corrected. Reviewing your consumer credit report can also alert you if someone has stolen your identity.
Be sure to get a free copy of your consumer credit report to stay up to date with your credit profile and to protect yourself from identity theft.
The information on this site is provided as a guide and is not meant to be legal advice. Be sure to consult an attorney for legal advice.
- Free Credit Score Fact Sheet
Know Your Score Fact Sheet Consumers Union is fighting to give consumers access to an annual free, reliable credit score when a free credit report is obtained. Your credit score can determine your eligibility for credit cards, home, car and student loans, and apartment rentals. It can mean the difference between a high interest rate Continue Reading
- How to Get Your Free Credit Report
Every consumer in the U.S. has the right to a free credit report. The law says you can request a free report once every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. However, there are a lot of web sites out there that offer you a free Continue Reading
- Credit Scores: Issues In a Changing Environment
This is a PowerPoint presentation given by Gail Hillebrand for a workshop titled “The Growing Influence of Credit Scores” at the Consumer Assembly 2010.
- New Rip-offs
Have you been ripped off by unfair lending or financial practices?
- Consumer group letter to prevent deceptive marketing of free credit reports
Comments of the National Consumer Law Center (On behalf of its Low-Income Clients) Consumer Action Consumers Union Consumer Federation of America National Association of Consumer Advocates National Community Reinvestment Coalition Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law U.S. Public Interest Research Group Regarding Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Free Annual File Disclosures, Rule No. R411005 Amendments Continue Reading
- Consumers Union supports reform to remove paid medical debts from credit
CU supports the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009, H.R. 3421
- Credit Reports and Scoring
- Credit and Your Consumer Rights
- California: Credit Repair Services
- What is Credit Monitoring?
What is Credit Monitoring? Consumer credit reporting agencies offer to “monitor” your credit for a fee. Credit monitoring services can be costly. These services cost anywhere between $43.80 per year to nearly $150.00 per year depending upon the provider. Typically, these services say they will notify you if anything unusual or suspicious appears on your Continue Reading
- Senators Schatz & Brown introduce bill to improve credit report accuracy and give consumers right to free credit score every year
Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Sherrod Brown (OH) introduced legislation today that would require credit bureaus to follow tighter rules for ensuring credit reports are accurate and give consumers free access to reliable credit scores every year.
- CFPB calls on credit card companies to provide consumers free access to credit scores
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced an increased focus on credit reporting as it called for the nation’s largest credit card companies to provide consumers with free access to credit scores used by lenders.
- CU backs bills providing free credit scores
The bills introduced in Congress will require credit scores to be included in your free, annual credit reports
- FTC study shows importance of checking credit reports
The findings reinforce call for access to free, reliable credit score
- CFPB: Check your credit report every year
CU offers credit report resources and calls for free annual credit scores for consumers
- CFPB Announces New Oversight for Big Credit Reporting Companies
In the fall, The CFPB will take a closer look to ensure accuracy and compliance with the law
- CFPB Seeks Oversight of Debt Collectors, Credit Bureaus
The CFPB announced plans to bring oversight to debt collectors & credit bureaus under its roof
- Consumers Union: Get your free credit report
New web page helps consumers get free credit reports, avoid imposter sites
- CU says Social Security numbers need protection
Widespread use and availability of Social Security numbers puts Americans at risk of ID theft
- TransUnion offering security freeze nationwide
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 TransUnion to Offer Powerful Identity Theft Tool to Consumers in All 50 States Consumer groups call on Experian and Equifax to meet or exceed TransUnion‘s plan. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Starting on October 15, TransUnion will begin offering consumers in all 50 states the ability to freeze access to their credit Continue Reading
- Let the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Continue To Do Its Job
(Cross-posted from Consumer Reports Online in an article by Stephen Saltzman) On July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will mark its fourth anniversary. The consumer financial watchdog, created by Congress in the wake of the financial crisis caused by shady mortgage lenders and Wall Street abuses, has done a lot for consumers in just Continue Reading
- CFPB: Fixing Consumers’ Toughest Credit Reporting Issues
When you find an incorrect item on your credit report, it’s not always easy to get it fixed. Fortunately, consumers have an advocate working hard on their side. For the past three years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been there to help consumers resolve their problems with financial services providers – from credit Continue Reading
- FICO Expands its Free Credit Score Program to More Consumers
Looks like consumer demand for more access to free credit scores is catching on: last month, Sallie Mae announced that it was joining FICO’s Open Access program, meaning that it will provide a free credit score each quarter to borrowers who take out “Smart Option” private student loans in the 2014-15 school year. According to Continue Reading
- Mississippi’s Suit Against Experian Draws Attention to the Credit Bureau’s Policies
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s lawsuit against top consumer reporting agency (“CRA” or “credit bureau”) Experian, which we reported on last week, is continuing to make waves. As a New York Times article posted over the weekend points out, the lawsuit alleges that Experian consistently provided incorrect information on credit reports and often failed to Continue Reading
- Mississippi Sues Credit Bureau Experian over Extensive Lapses
The credit bureau Experian is under fire for its credit reporting mistakes that harm consumers’ abilities to obtain credit and employment. The state of Mississippi has sued Experian because of repeated, serious credit reporting errors that can be very difficult to fix. In addition to pointing out concerns over the ways in which Experian puts Continue Reading
- Wall Street’s Latest Wishlist For Congress Would Make Even the Pharmaceutical Industry Blush
Do you know what stands between the American people and another financial crisis? Two things. The first is a little but scrappy federal agency that just happens to be the most important institution to emerge out of the crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And the second is defeating the the Wall Street Wishlist. Continue Reading
- CFPB Calls Out Credit Bureaus and Debt Collectors for Abusive Practices
Have the credit bureaus and debt collectors been meeting their legal responsibilities to treat consumers fairly? We’ve long argued that credit bureaus and debt collectors need to be held more accountable for breaking the law and harming consumers. Luckily, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been taking a closer look. In the CFPB’s latest Continue Reading
- New CFPB Paper Highlights Unfair Reporting of Medical Debt
Do you think that your medical bills are calculated fairly in your credit score? New research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests that they’re not. The CFPB’s new report reveals that the way medical debt is currently calculated in credit scores does not accurately represent consumers’ creditworthiness. Medical debt has become a significant Continue Reading
- Lax Reporting by Debt Collectors Can Trigger Credit Reporting Errors
As creditors increasingly rely on debt collectors to resolve outstanding debts, consumers should pay careful attention to the information reported about them to credit bureaus. That’s especially true since credit reporting errors are incredibly common, as our recent report on the subject noted. One in five, or an estimated 40 million consumers have errors on Continue Reading
- Identity Theft Can Destroy Consumers’ Credit Ratings
Consumers are increasingly aware of the threat posed to their financial security by identity theft. Recent high-profile security breaches experienced by retailers and others have put at risk the personal information of millions of consumers. Identity theft can wreak havoc on a consumer’s creditworthiness. This can occur when a consumer’s Social Security number (SSN) is Continue Reading
- Montanans locking credit reports Source: Helena Independent Record (Tuesday November 6, 2007)
More and more consumers are taking advantage of security freeze protection
- Montana bill to deter identity theft advances Source: Billings Gazette (Thursday January 26, 2006)
A bill giving Montanans the right to freeze access to their credit reports to block criminals from stealing their identity will go before the state Senate.
- ID theft law to take effect in Vermont Source: Times Argus (Sunday July 10, 2005)
Vermonters who become the victims of identity theft can stop the financial bleeding by putting a freeze on their credit reports, under a new state law.