Everyone is entitled to one free Equifax credit report every year. You’ll get to view the company’s reporting on your account history, and have the opportunity to dispute inaccurate information. However, you won’t receive your FICO credit score, which isn’t a part of the free service Equifax must provide. You'll have to go to the Equifax website and sign up for a credit monitoring service to receive that.
Go to the AnnualCreditReport website at annualcreditreport.com to get your free Equifax credit report. It starts with a credit summary, which provides an overview of each type of credit account you have. It includes your total outstanding balance, available credit, debt-to-credit ratio and the monthly payment amount. After the summary comes detailed information about each of your accounts, separated by category. Next comes a list of inquiries. Those initiated by you, or that are unsolicited promotions by potential lenders, can only be seen by you and are considered soft inquiries. Hard inquiries occur when you apply for credit. These are visible to others.
Your Equifax credit report has a dedicated section for negative accounts. That’s followed by a section on accounts in collections, and one on public records. Tax liens, judgments and bankruptcies appear here, each of which is marked by a large red flag for prospective members. That’s followed by your personal information, which includes a fraud alert if you’ve placed one. Finally, there’s information on how to file a dispute. If there’s something on your report that shouldn’t be there, Equifax must investigate the entry and remove it if it can’t find evidence that the debt is valid.