The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act* gives every American the right to a free credit report every year.
A free copy of your credit report is provided if you have been denied credit within the last 60 days; have been a victim of fraud; or are receiving public welfare assistance and you need to certify unemployment and are seeking employment within 60 days.
*The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (often referred to as the FACT Act, or FACTA) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months through a central source.
Many financial advisors suggest that you review your credit report once a year. It's especially important to review your credit report before making a major purchase so you can have an error corrected before it slows down your credit approval or prevents you from getting the best possible loan terms.
Immediately tell the credit bureau, in writing. Federal law requires credit bureaus to investigate your complaint (generally within 30 days), and send you a prompt response and correct any errors.
Identify each item in your credit report that you dispute,state the facts and request a correction. The law also requires the source of inaccurate information to correct the record at the credit bureaus.
Contact in writing the company that provided the inaccurate or incomplete information and request a correction of its records, too. If a credit bureau's investigation does not resolve your concerns, the law allows you to submit a brief statement about the matter that must be attached to your credit report and provided to anyone that accesses your report in the future.
First, try to resolve the matter with the credit bureau directly. If you are not satisfied, contact the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC does not resolve individual disputes, but it does provide useful information that may help consumers resolve their problems. Visit FTC's web site or call toll-free, 1-877-382-4357.