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Reminder: Free Credit Report Available to Consumer

California consumers can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three nationwide companies that compile these financial profiles.

The consumer credit reports compiled by Equifax, Experian and Trans Union reflect where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you've been sued or filed for bankruptcy. The reports affect whether you can get a loan or credit card - and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. These reports also can affect your ability to get a job, rent a home or obtain insurance.

Because of its significance, you will want to make sure the reports contain accurate, complete and up-to-date information before you apply for a loan for major purchases such as a house, a car, insurance, or apply for a job.

Checking these reports also can help combat identity fraud since you will be able to spot if someone has opened unauthorized accounts in your name or there have been delinquent payments reported for purchases you didn't authorize or didn't even know were made.

Once every 12 months, you may order your reports from one, two or all three of the nationwide consumer reporting companies, separately or at the same time.

One way to make the most of this opportunity is to order a report from just one of the three credit bureaus, then wait four months to order a report from another and, four months later, order a report from the third credit bureau. By repeating this process annually, you can monitor your credit report regularly, at no cost.

When using the Internet, be aware that you may receive pop-up advertisements from unscrupulous businesses attempting to trick you into giving them your bank account information or credit card number in order to get a free report from them. It is not necessary to provide this account information in order to receive your free report. However, the credit bureaus will ask for certain information to verify your identity, and that may include verification of account numbers. They will not ask you for entire account numbers.

To get your free credit report, contact.

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Toll Free Phone: (877) 322-8228
website: http://www.annualcreditreport.com

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