I've been turned down for credit. I imagine we all have at one time or another. My denial for credit was followed by a letter from the creditor telling me all the reasons I suck. At the end of the letter, the creditor told me that it pulled Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax when it made its credit decision. If I'd like a free copy of my report, I can write or call the credit-reporting agency. Sigh.
What a hassle. What a waste of time. Wouldn't it be nicer if the creditor just provided a Web site address that allowed me to get my credit report immediately? Of course that would be too easy. Plus, I imagine the credit-reporting agency would be just as happy if I never did get that free credit report. Which brings me to my reason for writing today's column.
Instead of throwing that letter away (which I imagine a lot of us do), or calling in and requesting a report by mail (which fewer of us do), I've been going to the credit-reporting agencies' Web sites and getting my report instantly. These agencies don't publicize (conspicuously) this information, but there is a way to get your report as soon as you're turned down for credit. In most cases, you're only asked if you've been turned down for credit in the last sixty days. Additionally, you might be asked to identify the creditor that denied you. There's not much more than that.
At TransUnion, you can qualify for a free credit report in eight different ways. Denied credit in the last sixty days? By whom? If you can say yes and list the creditor, you're entitled to a free credit report -- a report that's available online. Were you denied employment? Did the potential employer rely on information that was contained in your TransUnion report? Bingo. You qualify for a free report. There are other ways as well, but you get the point.
At Experian, you're asked to fill out some required information. At the bottom of the form, there's a note about receiving "adverse action." If, within the last sixty days, you've been denied credit, insurance, employment, or experienced adverse action -- such as a negative change to your credit limit -- that was based on information from Experian, then you qualify for a free report, says Experian. You're asked to name the business involved in the adverse action and you're asked for the date of the action. It's that easy.
Equifax, meanwhile, asks for basic information as well. After providing your name, address, social security number, email address, and date of birth, you're asked to identify why you should get a free report. There are seven different ways to qualify. Choose the option that fits your situation best and be on your way.
If you've recently been turned down for credit, received a credit line decrease, been shot down for a credit line increase request, had your interest rate hiked, or get turned down for credit in the future, there's no reason why you shouldn't get a free credit report. As a reader of this blog, you now have no excuse at all. A free credit report is now just a click away.
Suffered adverse action? Get your free credit report here: