July 30, 2007
With so much press about identity theft and the discussions on campus about the use of personally identifiable information, it is useful for some instruction on how to get your free credit report, based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Beware the many look-alike or imposter websites. The only site to get the free credit reports is via the FTC web site
Each of the three main credit reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, will provide a free report, once every 12 months. This means that you can get a free report three times a year, if you stagger your request by reporting agency, but you need to go through the referenced web site. If you go directly to the site of, for example, Experian, they bombard you with offers for a 'non-free' credit report, and a variety of other services, which you probably don't need if you are the standard undergraduate student.
Performing the credit check is now as important as getting a regular medical checkup: you'll find out if something is happening before a problem occurs.
So, if you are a university student, your report should be pretty light- maybe a few student loans will show up. Indications of fraud will include credit cards you don't recall, loan applications you didn't make , and the like.
For additional guidance, see the Case Identity Protection Guide.
Posted by Thomas Siu at 11:47 AM