Check your free credit report to build financial security

Federal law gives everyone the right to request three free credit reports each year—one each from the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. There are three ways to order your free credit report: through the mail, by phone toll free, or at the official website AnnualCreditReport.com.

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Credit reports versus scores

The information in your credit report is used to create a number – or credit score – that lenders use to make decisions on whether to extend credit or what interest rate to charge. Referring to a score is easier and quicker for a lender than reading through an individual’s credit report history.

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UW-Extension’s Check Your Free Credit Report Campaign

Anyone can sign up to receive an email reminder from UW-Extension three times a year on the campaign’s website at http://fyi.uwex.edu/creditreport. While you can order all three reports at the same time, the La Crosse County UW-Extension recommends that you view one report every four months so you can be sure that the information is up-to-date and accurate year round.

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