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Fraud alerts and free credit reports are requested all the time. Consumers who are in search of them now may have questions about these services offered to people.
What is the purpose of a free credit report?
People request them for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is to make sure they have no unauthorized purchases on their account. Another would be simply to monitor payment histories and to analyze in order to create a debt repayment plan.
How do I get a free credit report?
It can be obtained online at websites such as Annual Credit Report.com. It can also be requested by phone or by mail.
How long does it take to get a copy of my credit report?
You can usually get it almost instantly online. If you request it by phone or mail it takes up to 14 days to receive it.
What is a fraud alert?
It is a notice that is placed on your credit report to alert those to whom you owe money. This lets them as well as credit bureaus know that there may be unauthorized charges or unauthorized usage of your account.
How to I place a fraud alert on my credit report?
You can call one of three credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) by telephone. You can also go to the websites of each one of these major credit bureaus.
Should I get an initial fraud alert or an extended fraud alert?
It depends upon the seriousness of your situation. The initial fraud alert stays on your file for 90 days and the extended fraud alert stays on your file for seven years.
What are my rights as a consumer seeking a free credit report or a fraud alert?
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report at least once every 12 months. Information is provided by Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. More info about this can be found at Annual Credit Report.com, the FTC website, and within Fair Credit Reporting Act documentation.
This of course is only a very small list of the concerns associated with protecting your identity and analyzing your financial history. You can seek answers to further questions if you call the appropriate customer service hotlines.
Furthermore, more detailed instructions are provided by more than one public service or legal service entity. This is to ensure your rights as a consumer are protected in case you notice a problem.