Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Other Free Credit, Medical, Employment and Screening Reports That You Can Get

My library is rolling out a staff training so that we can better help patrons who are trying to get a free credit report from the big three credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Experian and Equifax. Almost everybody knows that, by law, people are allowed a free copy of their credit report (but NOT the free credit score) each year.  And people should know that the only website where you can get access to all three is www.annualcreditreport.com.  Beware other sites, where you may sign on for a subscription to stuff you don't need.

I did know that there are other reporting agencies that employers, landlords, merchants, and others who need to know more stuff about you use to decide if you are credit-worthy, job-worthy, house-worthy, etc.  What I didn't know is that many of these consumer reporting agencies are also obliged to give you a free copy of their report on you if you are adversely affected by something in that report--if, for instance, you are turned down for a job, or your interest rates go up because of something in the report, or you are refused credit.  Several will give you a free copy of your report annually upon request, and all will give you a copy for a "reasonable cost."

What are these "specialty reporting agencies," and how can you find out about their policies?  They include employment background agencies like HireRight. Lexis Nexis Screening Solutions, and others, the Medical Information Bureau, that checks up on your data from insurance applications, and Milliman Intellascript, that checks up on your prescription activity. It includes CoreLogic SafeRent and Leasing Desk, who check up on your residential and rental records, and others.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a list that is not all-inclusive, but has about 40 such agencies and their policies.  It also has information on how to contact them.  For instance, CoreLogic SafeRent will provide you a copy of their report on you, free, every 12 months, as will the Medical Information Bureau. 

  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a rundown on your legal rights regarding these specialty reporting agencies.  If you have had an "adverse action," looking into the accuracy of the reports about you might be worthwhile. 

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