Writtten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
It’s a great idea to review your credit report on a regular basis. As a result of federal legislation several years ago, consumers can get a copy of their credit report for free.
CREDIT REPORTS. A credit report contains information about your consumer finance creditors, how you pay your bills, where you live, and whether there may be judgments against you. All credit reports are prepared by three national credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
GETTING A REPORT FROM US. We regularly obtain copies of credit reports for our Long Island bankruptcy clients. However, the reports we obtain are different than the reports that you can get for free. When we order a report, we can usually get it in a matter of minutes. The report that we get is a “three bureau merged report” consisting of all information from each of the three credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. When we order a report for you, it becomes automatically linked to our bankruptcy petition computer program and makes preparing your petition quicker, more efficient and error-free. However, we have to pass on the cost of getting this report.
GETTING A REPORT FOR FREE. You can also get free individual reports. The Federal Credit Reporting Act (FRCA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. To order your free annual report from one or all national consumer reporting companies, do one of the following:
1. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com 
2. Call toll-free 877-322-8228; or
3. Complete an Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form can be obtained from ftc.gov/ credit .