One Free Credit Report Every Year

Under the Fair and Accurate Transaction (FACT) Act, at your request, Equifax, and each of the other 2 major credit reporting agencies, Experian and TransUnion, will provide you with one free credit report every 12 months.

Please Note:To request your free report:

Note: Credit report disclosures do not include credit scores. Your credit score disclosure must be purchased separately. However, you can request to purchase your credit score disclosure when you request your free annual credit file disclosure.


Credit Report FAQs

Questions we hear. Answers you need.


What information is included in my credit report?
  • Personal information: Compiled from credit applications you completed in the past, this information normally includes your name, current and recent addresses, Social Security Number, date of birth and current and previous employers.
  • Credit history: The bulk of your credit report consists of details about credit accounts that were opened in your name or that list you as an authorized user (such as a spouse's credit card).  Account details are supplied by creditors with which you have an account include:
    • The date the account was opened, the credit limit or amount of the loan, the payment terms, the balance, and a history that shows whether or not you've paid the account on time.
    • Depending on the manner in which they were paid, closed or inactive accounts stay on your report for 7 to 11 years from the date of their last activity.
  • Inquiries: Credit reporting agencies record an inquiry whenever your credit report is shown to another party, such as a lender, service provider, landlord, or insurer. Inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years.
  • Public records: Matters of public record obtained from goverment sources such as courts of law - including liens, bankruptcies, and overdue child support - may appear on your credit report. Most public record information stays on your credit report for 7 years.
What is not included in my credit report?
A credit report does not include information about your checking or savings accounts, bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old, charged-off debts or debts placed for collection that are more than seven years old, gender, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, medical history, or criminal records. Additionally, your credit score is generated by information on your credit report, but is not part of the file itself.
How long does negative information stay on my credit report?

In general, negative information that is more than 7 years old from date of last activity (10 years for bankruptcies) must be removed from your file. Please refer to the information below to learn more about specific credit report information. Also, please remember that the negative information in your credit report does not come from Equifax; any negative information is reported to Equifax by others that have granted you credit, is included in public record information or reported by collection agencies. Equifax is merely a repository for the information that your credit grantors report, collection agencies report, or is in public records.

Credit Accounts

  • Accounts paid as agreed generally remain on your credit file for up to 10 years from the date of last activity (DLA).
  • Accounts not paid as agreed generally remain on your credit file for 7 years from the date the account first became past due leading to the current not paid status.
  • Late Payment History generally remains on your credit file for 7 years.

Collection Accounts

  • Collection accounts generally remain on your credit file for seven years from the date the account first became past due that led to the account becoming placed with a collection agency.

Public Records

  • Judgments generally remain on your credit file for 7 years from the date filed, whether satisfied (paid) or not.
  • Paid tax liens generally remain on your credit file for 7 years from the date released (paid).
  • Unpaid tax liens generally remain on your credit file indefinitely.

Bankruptcy

  • A bankruptcy under chapter 7 or 11, or a non-discharged or dismissed chapter 13 bankruptcy generally remains on your credit file for 10 years from the date filed.
  • A discharged chapter 13 bankruptcy generally remains on your credit file for 7 years from the date filed.

Inquiries

  • Inquiries are a record of companies and others who obtained a copy of your Equifax credit file. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that Equifax disclose to you who requested copies of your credit file. Depending on the reason your credit file was accessed, Equifax generally retains these for one to two years.
  • Some types of inquires you might see on your Equifax Credit Report™ are not reported to others or used in credit score calculations. These include:
    • PRM Inquiry. A promotional inquiry in which your name and address were provided to a person who made you a firm offer of credit or insurance, such as a pre-approved credit card offer. These inquiries generally remain on your credit file for 12 months.
    • AM or AR Inquiry. An Account Monitoring or Account Review inquiry in which one of your creditors performs a periodic review of your credit file in connection with reviewing your account. These inquiries generally remain on your credit file for 12 months.
    • Equifax, ID, ACIS, or UPDATE Inquiry. Internal inquiries that indicate Equifax's activity in response to your contact with us, for either a copy of your credit report or a request for research. These inquiries will generally remain on your file for 24 months.

New York State Residents Only (must be current resident)

  • Satisfied judgments remain on your credit file for 5 years from the date filed.
  • Paid collections remain on your credit file for 5 years from the date of last activity/date paid.
  • All other deletion rules apply as noted above.

California State Residents Only (must be current resident)

  • Paid or released tax liens remain on your credit file for 7 years from the date released or 10 years from the date filed.
  • Unpaid or unreleased tax liens remain on your credit file for 10 years from the file date.
Who can obtain a copy of my Equifax credit report?

Generally, anyone with whom Equifax has established a business relationship and who has what is considered a “permissible purpose” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can obtain a copy of your Equifax credit report. A permissible purpose includes: employment, insurance, consideration of an application for a loan or an offer of credit, and collection of a debt.The companies, groups, and individuals that may have permissible purpose include:

  • Potential lenders
  • Landlords
  • Insurance companies
  • Employers and potential employers (with your written consent)
  • Companies you allow to monitor your credit file activity, including for potential signs of identity theft
  • Those considering your application for a government license or benefit
  • A state or local child support enforcement agency
  • Collection agencies
  • Anyone who has established a business relationship with Equifax and has your written authorization to obtain your credit report.

Your Equifax credit file can also be provided to a third party pursuant to the requirements of a court order or other legal procedure.

How is a credit score determined?
A credit score is based on information contained in your credit file. The FICO® score is calculated using the following credit file items:
  • Payment history: Approximately 35% of the FICO score is based on this category.
  • Amounts owed: Approximately 30% of the FICO score is based on this category.
  • Length of credit history: Approximately 15% of the FICO score is based on this category.
  • New credit: Approximately 10% of the FICO score is based on this category.
  • Type of credit used: Approximately 10% of the FICO score is based on this category.
Please keep in mind that there are many different scoring models that can be used to calculate a credit score, and each scoring model may give more or less weight to the various items of information in your credit file.
What factors impact my credit score?
Doing the following typically has a positive impact on your credit score:
  • Paying your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a significantly negative impact on your score.
  • If you have missed payments in the past, getting current and staying current on your payments.
  • Paying off debt rather than move it around.
  • Re-establishing your credit worthiness if you have had problems. Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time may help in the long run.
  • Applying for and opening new credit accounts only as needed.
  • Keeping credit cards and managing them responsibly. In general, having credit cards and installment loans (and making timely payments) may help in the long run. Someone with no credit cards, for example, may be seen as a higher risk than someone who has demonstrated a history of managing credit cards responsibly.
  • If you are having trouble making ends meet, contacting your creditors or seeing a legitimate, reputable credit counselor.
  • Keeping balances low on credit cards and other lines of revolving credit.
  • Doing your rate shopping for a loan or credit line within a short period of time. FICO® scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines in part by the length of time over which inquiries occur.

The following factors typically do not have a positive impact (or may even have a negative impact) on your credit score:

  • Opening a number of new credit cards that you do not need, just to increase your available credit. This approach could backfire and actually have a negative impact on your score.
  • Opening a lot of new accounts in a short period of time, especially if you have been managing credit for a short time. New accounts will lower your average account age. If you do not have a lot of other information in your credit file, this could have a larger effect on your score. Also, rapid account build-up can look risky if you are a new credit user.
What is a "good" credit score?
FICO® scores can range from 300 to 850, but the majority of scores usually fall within the 600s and 700s:
  • 20% are above 780
  • 20% are in the range of 745 - 780
  • 20% are in the range of 690 - 745
  • 20% are in the range of 620 - 690
  • 20% are below 619
Since there is no universal score cutoff used by all lenders, it is hard to say what a good score is outside the context of a particular lending decision. For example, one lender may determine that a score of 750 may qualify you for a platinum credit card, whereas a score of 675 may indicate that you are a better match for a standard card.
Why is my Equifax score different from my Experian and TransUnion credit scores?
There are several reasons for variations in your credit score among the different credit reporting agencies and even among different credit grantors:
  • First, your credit score from each credit reporting agency is based on the information in your credit file at the credit reporting agency, and the credit history information each credit reporting agency has about you can differ. This can result in your score at the other credit reporting agencies being different from your Equifax score.
  • Second, there is a slightly different FICO credit scoring model at each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies due to the differences in credit history information they each have about you. Remember: your FICO score at a given credit reporting agency is only based on the credit data that credit reporting agency has about you.
  • Third, although the FICO® credit scoring model is the score used most often by lenders, each of the credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, has their own scoring models. These other models may evaluate your credit file differently from the FICO® model and, in some cases a higher score may mean more risk, not less risk as with FICO® scores.
How can I opt out of promotional offerings?

To opt out of promotional offerings, please call 1-888-567-8688 or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.

Before you decide to opt out, remember prescreened offers can provide many benefits, especially if you are in the market for a credit card or insurance. Pre-screened offers may be more favorable than those that are available to the general public. Some credit card or insurance products may only be available through prescreened offers. And because you are pre-selected to receive the offer, you can only be turned down in limited circumstances.

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