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Getting Your Credit Report

Getting and retaining a copy of your personal credit report is a good idea. Because your personal credit report contains a history of your use of credit, it's important that you're aware of what it contains and whether the information is accurate.

If you're applying for a mortgage, you can ask at that time for a copy of your credit report -- after all, you're paying for it. You should also know that lenders are required to give you a copy of your credit report without charge if they turn you down for a loan.

Another way to obtain a copy of your credit report is to contact one of the major credit bureaus that gather the information and publish these reports. Credit bureaus are generally required to provide you with a free copy of your report if you were denied credit, employment, housing, or insurance over the most recent 60 days due to information in their credit files.

You may also purchase (generally for less than $10) a copy of your credit report from Experian (http://www.experian.com), Equifax (http://www.equifax.com), or Trans Union (http://www.transunion.com).