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Why Is It Important to Check Your Credit?

Most landlords, and some employers, obtain the credit history of people applying for housing or jobs and use this information in making decisions. You want to make sure the information in your report is accurate.

You Don’t Have to Pay or Sign Up for Services to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

The three nationwide credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, are required to provide a free copy of your credit report once a year. Free credit reports can be obtained:


Print out and complete the online Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
Central Source LLC
P.O. Box 105283
Atlanta, GA 30348-5283

Phone: (877) 322-8228 (Toll Free)

Review Your Report For Accuracy

Make sure the information in the report is correct. If it is not - Dispute It!! You can have the report changed if it is wrong. You must ask for a correction in writing. Enclose copies of related documents if they are available. See the sample letter.

The Dispute Process:
  • Disputes must be investigated within 30 days, unless they’re considered frivolous.
  • When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must provide the results in writing and a free copy of the revised report if it is changed.
  • Correction notices must be sent to anyone who received a copy of the report in the last six months.
  • If the investigation doesn’t resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you can place a short statement of the dispute in the file so that anyone receiving a copy of your credit report will also receive a copy of the dispute. There may be a fee for this service.
Do You Have Bad Credit?

If you have outstanding unpaid bills, try to make a payment plan or settlement that you can afford.

If you had credit problems in the past, but are now current on your bills, be prepared to request a reasonable accommodation if the bad credit is related to a disability.

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are waivers of rules or policies to give people with disabilities an equal opportunity to obtain housing or employment. Landlords and employers must respond to your request.

What If You Have No Credit History?

If you have never formally borrowed money from a lender that reports to credit reporting agencies, that means you don’t have a credit history. That isn’t the same as having bad credit. You should not be denied public or subsidized housing or employment.

Sample Dispute Letter

Click on the attachment below to view a sample letter to use when disputing items on your credit history.

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