Credit Report Facts

Madison Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer, Attorney Steven Zaleski,  can explain your credit report and help get your credit back on track.

Free Credit Reports Available Online Or By Telephone

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to receive one free credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies every 12 months. These companies are Transunion, Equifax and Experian.

What is on a Credit Report?

A credit report contains information on where you have lived, where you have been employed, whether you have been sued and whether you have previously filed for bankruptcy. A credit report contains the names, addresses, account numbers and balances for credit accounts considered “satisfactory” and those accounts considered “adverse.” A credit report will identify any entities who have received a copy of your credit report and who have made inquiries about your credit history. Your credit report may not reflect all of your credit accounts. Although most national department store, credit card, and bank credit card accounts will be listed, credit accounts from smaller or more local retailers may not.

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To order your free credit report, go to and fill out the required application. It is a rather simple process. Be prepared to give your name, address, social security number and date of birth. You should be able to access and print out a credit report within minutes. If you do not want to access your report online, you may call 1-877-322-8228. If you order by telephone, it will take around 15 days to get the report.

Credit Report Scams is the only website that is authorized to provide you with the free annual credit report that you are entitled to under the law. Be wary of other websites which claim to provide “free credit reports,” “free credit scores,” or other similar services. These are “bait and switch” type deals. You may get some small, usually unhelpful information for free, but then have to pay in order to get the full data.

Fix Errors on Your Credit Reports

You may find errors or incorrect information on your credit report. If you do, you should contact both the credit reporting company and the creditor in writing and explain what information you believe is incorrect. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires consumer reporting companies and information providers, usually creditors, to remedy incorrect entries. The credit reporting companies are generally required to investigate disputed items within 30 days. They must also forward your disputes and supporting information to the information provider. The information provider must also investigate and then respond back to the credit reporting company. If the information provider determines that the disputed information is inaccurate, it is required to notify all three nationwide credit reporting companies so that the error may be corrected. The credit reporting company is then required to give you the results of the investigation and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change.