One of the few pieces of legislation which went through like hot knife through butter was the one in 2003, which freed customers and users of credit cards and other credit instruments from a closed door assessment of their credit rating risk. By this legislation, called FACT Act, every person who is a credit user has the right to have a free credit report annually. The upshot of this landmark legislation was that the consumer now has a right to check its veracity and ask for additional information or ask for corrections to the report.
The Act introduced a certain amount of transparency in the how and on what basis the credit rating agencies collected, collated, and arrived at the risks associated to a consumer. Till this time, the consumer was in the dark, with a veil of secrecy shrouding it.
How does this help you? There can be errors in your credit report. A single different digit or even a space between characters would completely alter it. You might find that you have been billed for what you never even thought about, or, as in many cases, payments made on the due date, were not correctly entered, resulting in a technical default, which adds up over the year, would lead To a misleading impression of always lagging behind in payment! And that's apart from the charges for late payment adding up to your bill.
You may also be unpleasantly surprised that you have been bumped for a few thousands of dollars of purchases made in a place which you never even knew existed..in other words, someone hijacked your identity!
When you find these sort of transactions on your credit report, you have to immediately contact the agency, and enter into a dialogue with them to correct those errors.
Today, you even have software which you can download on your computer which, in addition, to looking up your credit rating, also perform tasks such as monitoring unusual transactions, point to errors in your credit reports, and also warning you if you were to Come near a danger point on your credit rating. Call it an EWS or early warning system for you.
How to get it? Go on to the sites of the main providers of this source of information, namely, Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Their web sites are experian.com, equifax.com, transunion.com. Just add, if you want to, the www. Before them. Today's software just wrists it up automatically.
Logging will require you to confirm your identity, which could include multiple proofs based on what you provided for the credit card, or a unique number which would identify you; Today, additional questions are asked to really confirm that you really are what you are. Sorry, but that's one way of keeping a possible hacker at bay. You can then do anything with it: print, download, or view. It is better to download and keep a printout.
It is best if you were to take down the your Credit Report from all the three agencies. Some report to one or the other, and therefore what may be in one, may not be in the other. The software mentioned above, can have the facility to log in on its own, provided you enable it, and it would scan it for you, and flag the discrepancies.
You can use freecreditreport.com, annualcreditreport.com, that will give you step by step advise on securing the reports from these agencies.
You must use this facility given to you by law. It is for your protection, safety, and its your money.