SIR is committed to educating consumers on the topics of consumer reporting, their rights, and ways to improve their credit worthiness. The resources on this page are designed to provide you with information that can help you become more informed, improve your credit report & score, and understand your rights.
A good credit standing can be a key-factor in your financial health, and can influence your ability to successfully rent an apartment or qualify for some jobs.
Review Your Own Credit Report
A recent study by the FTC found that 2% of credit reports contain errors which would impact an individual’s creditworthiness. Reviewing your own credit report regularly can allow you to find errors and correct them. There are many services online offering a so-call “free” credit report, but many of those services require you to pay for something. The good news for consumers is that federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. You can obtain your free credit file disclosure by visiting the website below, or by calling toll free 877-322-8228, utilizing the automated system to request each bureau to mail your report to you, with just one call.
AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to get your free annual credit reports. This right is guaranteed by Federal law.
Monitor Your Own Credit Report
Strategic Information Resources offers consumers access to credit monitoring and fully managed identity recovery services including a personal advocate. Such programs can help you and your family preserve and improve your own credit history, while protecting you from identity theft. Through credit monitoring, consumers can be alerted to changes in their credit, and help you quickly identify indications of fraud. To get more information, or to get started, click here.
- Basic information about credit:
www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports or www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/search?q=credit
- Building a better report and repairing your credit:
www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports/ or www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/318/how-do-i-get-and-keep-a-good-credit-score.html
- Protecting against fraud and identify theft:
www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft or www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/search selected_facets=tag_exact%3Aidentity+theft
- Resources for consumers about credit and other information regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Summary of Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
“Opt Out” of unsolicited mailings, calls, and emails
The FCRA provides you the right to “Opt Out” you can cut down on the number of offers through the mail, phone and email. The federal government’s Do Not Call Registry can also be effective at reducing calls. A similar registry exists for limiting direct mail as well.
Identity Theft / Data Breach Protection
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): What to do in case of identity theft, and how to create an identity theft report.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Steps you can take if you think your credit or debit card data was hacked.
Credit Repair Scams
Just say NO! Many credit repair companies make claims as to how they can help consumers “repair” their credit; however all most of them really do is dispute items on a report for the consumer. A credit repair company cannot do anything that the consumer isn’t already able to do for themselves for free. In fact, a credit repair company cannot even obtain a copy of your credit report as credit repair agencies are prohibited access to Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. A simple alternative is to use the free resources on www.annualcreditreport.com.