Ordering Credit Reports Online
Traditionally, consumers would order their credit reports by mail, on paper. Before the rise of the internet, this was the only real option. At that time, the credit bureaus had grossly understaffed their phone processing, leading to several high-profile legal actions. With the rise of the internet, the credit bureaus began making reports more easily accessible over the web. But, these new convenience came at a cost. Consumers found it difficult to document their request, and the bureaus included online licensing "pop ups" that required consumers to waive their rights in order to get access to their reports. Still, many consumers ask whether they can and should request their reports online.
What are those "pop ups?"
In addition to the barriers put in place by the credit bureaus, many of the credit reporting agencies require consumers to navigate through a number of pop-up boxes before being able to access their credit file. These pop-up boxes often contain waivers of the consumer's rights, including your right to sue in a court with a jury. These waivers may be embedded inside binding, mandatory arbitration clauses. These popup boxes may not provide an opportunity to meaningfully review the agreements or allow consumers to keep copies of any waivers. Because consumers cannot proceed with an electronic dispute without agreeing to these waivers, consumers should think twice about beginning this process.
Additionally, because consumers must requests through a web interface, there is no guarantee that you will get a copy of your report request or an acknowledgment that the request was received. As such, in the event of a law suit, you may not have all the information you need to bring that case to court.
Is this actually my credit report?
It may not be. Many of the credit bureaus do not actually allow access to credit disclosures from their web sites. Instead when consumers click the link to request their credit reports, those site redirect consumers to the web sites of other, related companies. While these related companies may share logos, branding, and other trappings of a credit bureau, they are not credit bureaus! Instead, these companies are set up to provide disclosures only. As such, they are not governed by the same laws as the credit bureaus, and they do not have to provide any of the information provided by law. So if you need a copy of your report, you cannot usually get it from the credit bureau's web site. If you want a true copy of your report, you must request it by mail or on the phone.
Can I Get My Report from AnnualCreditReport.com
Yes. The AnnualCreditReport.com web site will provide you with a "true" copy of you credit report and is safe to use. When last visited on February 22, 2021, this site contained no unexpected "pop ups" that required agreement to terms and conditions. This site also did not redirect the user to any third party site that is not a credit reporting agency. Rather, it sent user directly to the major credit reporting agency sites.
While this site is safe and convenient to use, it only provides access to reports from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. It does not provide access to any specialty reports or background checks that may be used to qualify consumers for credit, jobs, insurance, or a security clearance. If you would like to learn more about the other credit reporting agencies and background check companies, you can see our list of credit bureaus. If you would like to order one of these other reports, check out our credit report request generator.
Benefits of Mail
While the credit bureaus offer online and telephone access to order credit reports, most often mail is a better means of getting those reports. With paper requests, consumers can retain an exact copy of what they sent and have proof that their request got to the place where it was sent, all without waiving rights. Even though electronic report requests promise quicker and more convenient delivery, the benefits of these disputes are not always worth the cost.
What Additional Resources Are Available?
- Want to see a list of the credit bureaus who keep data on you? Check out our Credit Bureau List.
- If you need help deciding which reports you need, you can read our article on Credit Reports to Order.
- Need help getting your credit report, see our article on How to Get Your Credit Report.
You may have a case under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if you notice the following things on your background report:
- Fraudulent identity theft accounts on your credit credit report.
- Someone else's Information on your credit report.
- Paid accounts still showing a balance due.
- Reporting your accounts in good standing as charged off or in collections.
- Discharged debts still reporting as owed.
- Paid tax lies showing as still owed.
- Derogatory accounts more than 7 years old still on your report.
- Previously deleted accounts that have been reinserted on your report.
- Duplicate reporting of the same account.
If you would like help with one of these problems, call (888) 400-CREDIT | (888) 400-2733 or contact us through this site.
How Much Are Your Fees?
We only charge a fee if we are able to recover for you, and The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the other side to pay your attorney's fees if you win. You pay nothing up front and we take our fee from the other side.
Follow Up and Monitoring
After your case is done, we will help you to regularly check and monitor your background checks with free annual reviews of your background checks and credit reports to insure that you stay free of false conviction information.
Work with a Credit Report Attorney
If you have been the subject of an inaccurate credit report, you may have be able to seek a correction and compensation for any harm. Our firm can help. For more than 25 years, the attorneys of Lyngklip & Associates have represented victims of bogus credit reports credit reports and been a resource for Michigan consumers who need the help of an experienced lawyer.
To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a credit report lawyer, contact our law firm today or call (888) 400-CREDIT | (888) 400-2733 or contact us through this site. In Michigan, you can reach our office at (248) 208-8864.