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Subject:  Re: Credit Reporting Agencies Date:  4/8/1998  6:43 PM
Author:  SmartConsumer Number:  1073 of 312155

<<What is the Foolish thing to do in regard checking your history periodically? Once a year? Every
several years? Should I check one agency per year and rotate the agencies over a 3 year period?>>

In response to your question, here is a repost of my answer to a similar question back in February:

Our credit report is one of the essential tools that banks, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers,
department stores and other credit grantors use to decide whether or not to give you additional credit.
Some employers also use your credit report to help them decide whether to hire you or give you that
promotion. As such it is very important to check your credit report on a regular basis to see if there
are any inaccuracies (don't wait until you're ready to apply for that home loan, I recommend you
check your reports once a year). Equifax, Experian and TransUnion maintain separate databases so it
is important to check all three. Some states (such as Georgia, where I live) let you have copies of
your credit report for free just for the asking, whereas some states let the credit bureaus charge you
unless you've been denied credit - find out what the law allows in your state.

As someone who helps people with consumer problems I could tell you all sorts of stories of people
who have inaccurate information on their credit reports - information on people with similar names,
accounts still open that you had asked to be closed, etc. Hopefully most of these are isolated incidents,
but with something this important it doesn't hurt to check. Each credit report will explain how to read it
and how to dispute any incorrect information.

You can obtain copies of your credit report by contacting:
Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or
Experian: 1-800-682-7654 or
TransUnion: 1-800-851-2674 or

As for your question: <<Which agency has historically had incorrect information in your report?>> I've had consumers in my area complain about inaccuracies with all three bureaus. I get more complaints about Equifax, but that's probably because I'm located in their hometown :-)
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