Getting Your Credit Report

You can access your credit reports for free once a year by going to If you want your credit score, you may have to pay a small fee, but it can be a good idea to check it occasionally.

If you find any issues that you fear might concern a potential lender, you can ask that a 100-word statement be added to your report giving your explanation for the problem. Be sure to check back to see that the comment has been added.

If you know there's a problem, you may want to raise it with the potential lender and explain the circumstances. It probably can't hurt and it may help resolve the lender's concerns.

If you find any errors in your report, you should get in touch with the credit reporting agency that has made the mistake. The steps to follow to request that the error be corrected will be on the agency's website. However, it can take at least six months to have any errors on your credit report fixed, depending on the error and the credit-reporting agency. If you think the problem is one of identity theft, report it immediately to all three credit bureaus.
If you suspect your score may be low because you've defaulted on your education loan or are delinquent, it's smart to find out where you actually stand. Request a free copy of your credit report, and pay for a copy of your credit score. That will tell you how much rebuilding you have to do.