Credit Repair

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How do I get a copy of my credit reports?

You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You can request a copy from AnnualCreditReport.com.

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You can request and review your free report through one of the following ways:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281You can request all three reports at once or you can order one report at a time. By requesting the reports separately (for example, one every four months) you can monitor your credit report throughout the year. Once you’ve received your annual free credit report, you can still request additional reports. By law, a credit reporting company can charge no more than $12.00 for a credit report.

You are also eligible for reports from specialty consumer reporting companiesWe put together a list of several of these companies so you can see which ones might be important to you. You have to request the reports individually from each of these companies. Many of the companies in this list will provide a report for free every 12 months. Other companies may charge you a fee for your report.

You can get additional free reports if any of the following apply to you:

  • You received a notice that you were denied credit, insurance, or employment or experienced another “adverse action” based on a credit report, you have a right to a free report from the credit reporting company identified in the notice. To get the free report you must request it within 60 days after you receive the notice. Other types of “adverse action” notices you might receive include notice of an unfavorable change in the terms or amount of your credit or insurance coverage, or unfavorable changes in the terms of your employment or of a license or other government benefit.
  • You believe your file is inaccurate due to fraud.
  • You have requested a credit report from a nationwide credit reporting company in connection with the placing of an initial fraud alert (you may request two free copies for an extended fraud alert).
  • You are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within 60 days from the date of your request.
  • You are a recipient of public welfare assistance.
  • Your state law provides for a free credit report.

How do I dispute an error on my checking account consumer report?

To dispute inaccurate information on your checking account consumer report, you should file a dispute with the checking account reporting company that compiled the report.

You should also file a dispute with the bank, credit union, or company that provided the information to the checking account reporting company.  We’ve prepared sample letters that can be used to dispute any inaccurate information.

See sample letter #1 to dispute inaccurate information
See sample letter #2 to dispute inaccurate information

Tip: If you’ve had difficulty opening or managing a checking account, see our consumer guides on choosing and managing checking accounts. You might also consider getting a prepaid card.

See the CFPB's consumer guide to selecting a lower risk account
See the CFPB's consumer guide to managing your checking account
See the CFPB's consumer guide to checking account denials

Checking account reporting companies must comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This means they must follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information they provide to the banks, and they can’t include most negative information that’s more than seven years old.

All checking account reporting companies must investigate consumers’ disputes of inaccurate information on their reports and correct any inaccurate information. Banks and credit unions that report information to checking account reporting companies also have an obligation to investigate and correct disputed information.

Nationwide checking account reporting companies must provide consumers with one free annual report per year, upon request.  You have to request the reports individually from each reporting company. We’ve put together a list of some of these checking account reporting companies, along with some information about how you can obtain copies of your reports.

You also have the right to request a free report if you have received an “adverse action” notice. For example, let’s say a bank turns you down for a checking account based on a checking account report. This is an example of an “adverse action”. The bank must provide you with an “adverse action” notice that includes the name and contact information of the checking account reporting agency from which the bank got the report. You can contact the reporting company and request a free copy of the report.

To file a dispute about information in your checking account consumer report:

1. File a dispute with the checking account reporting company that compiled the report. Use the contact information provided on the adverse action notice. If you don’t have that information, below is the contact information for the two largest checking account reporting companies.

See sample letter #1 to dispute inaccurate information 

For ChexSystems you can write or call: ChexSystems, Inc. Attn: Consumer Relations 7805 Hudson Road, Suite 100 Woodbury, MN 55125 (800) 428-9623

For Early Warning Services, LLC, you can write or call:   Early Warning Services, LLC 16552 North 90th Street, Suite 100 Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (800) 325-7775

2. Next, file a dispute with the bank or credit union that provided the information to the checking account reporting company. You should be able to find this information on your report.

See sample letter #2 to dispute inaccurate information

Hint: If you find inaccurate information on your report, you may also want to check your other consumer reports especially if it appears that the inaccurate information is the result of identity theft.

3. Have your social security card and other identifying information ready: If you are a victim of identity theft, the company may require you to provide a copy of your social security card with your dispute. It may also be helpful to include an identity theft affidavit, which was created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide a standard dispute letter for identity theft-related problems.

If the investigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you also have the right to send a brief statement explaining why you think the record is inaccurate to the checking account reporting company to keep in your file. The reporting company must include your statement about disputed information in a report it issues about you.

My credit application was denied because of my credit report. What can I do?

First, find out what caused the lender to turn you down. If a lender rejects your application, it’s required under the ECOA to tell you the specific reasons your application was rejected or tell you that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days.

If a lender rejects your application based on your credit report, the lender is also required to:

  • Provide you the numerical credit score it used in taking the adverse action and the key factors that affected your score
  • Give you the name, address, and telephone number of the credit reporting company that provided the report
  • Tell you about your right to get a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting company that provided it within 60 days of your adverse action notice
  • Explain the process for fixing mistakes on your report or adding information to make your report more complete

If you find information in your credit report that you believe is inaccurate, you can dispute what is in the report with the credit reporting company and the company that provided the information. The credit reporting company is required to conduct an investigation and correct any errors it finds. If after the investigation you still believe that the report is wrong, you generally have the right to have a statement added to the report stating that you dispute the information.

If you were denied due to an “insufficient credit file”, you can use this checklist to learn how to build and keep good credit.

It is illegal for a creditor to discriminate in any credit transaction, including mortgages, against any applicant because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (gender)
  • Marital status
  • Age, unless the applicant is not legally able to enter into a contract
  • Receipt of income from any public assistance program
  • Exercising in good faith a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Ac (such as disputing information in your credit report)

If you feel you may have been discriminated against, learn more about your rights under ECOA.

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