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Annual Credit Report Overview

Aug 17, 2007
An annual credit report contains information regarding your loans and repayment history. It also contains information about your employment and registered residential address. Any names that you have used in the past will be included in this annual credit report, as well as any loans you applied for and been denied. Most importantly, your annual credit report will contain your social security number and beacon credit score. Lenders, potential employers and property owners all look at this report. Identity thieves also prey on the personal information in your annual credit report to defraud credit card companies, banks, loan companies and many other businesses.

To obtain an annual credit report is very simple. All three major credit reporting agencies allow every individual consumer one free annual credit report per year. Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union have combined a single website for this purpose and with access to an online computer you can easily navigate your way to a free annual credit report.

Equifax, Experian and Trans Union will also honor written requests for an annual credit report as well as telephone requests. The waiting times for receiving your annual credit report using these methods are as short as one week and as long as six weeks. Online credit services are extremely fast and also appeal to some consumers by offering incentives such as a free one-time annual credit report for issuing monthly or quarterly reports to you for a nominal fee. Fees and services vary among these businesses, and it is worth comparing them, and perhaps reading the reviews on a number of consumer forums.

Whichever method you decide suits your needs, the benefits are limitless. Knowledge is very important in respect to your annual credit report. When applying to meet any of your financial goals, such as freeing yourself from debt, it is pertinent to understand your credit score and that you correct any mistakes in the information it contains. Also organizing your finances and updating employment, phone numbers and addresses can be crucial to help prevent identity theft.

Checking your annual credit report is your key to a healthy and secure future for yourself and your family. Each agency or service attaches a detailed instruction sheet or page explaining exactly how to read and understand your annual credit report.
About the Author
S. Stammberger is the owner of Financial Advisory Network. Visit her website and get online money management tips, resources for managing your finances, doing business online, and more.
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