The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the winter edition of its Consumer News reminds consumers to check their credit reports for errors and potential fraud.
This is particularly important, the agency notes, in view of the results of a Federal Trade Commission study, which showed a sizable percentage of consumers had errors on their credit reports that could damage their credit scores and increase costs for products such as consumer loans and various kinds of insurance.
The FDIC urges consumers to take advantage of federal law allowing for a free credit report. The law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide the free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it.
Consumers can request reports online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or by calling (877) 322-8228.
The FDIC suggests consumers “consider spreading out … requests so you receive one credit report approximately every four months.”
That’s because a free report from each reporting company is available only annually. If a consumer makes a request every four months from a different company, as the FDIC suggests, consumers can have reporting data reach them throughout the year.
More information on requesting reports is available by reading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “How do I get a copy of my credit report?” (www.consumerfinance.gov).