No matter how you look at it, Surety is a financial arrangement. One of the major underwriting factors in Surety is the personal creditworthiness of Principals. But often, clients do not think to check their credit before the Surety does. To avoid surprises and/or review of inaccurate information, it is important to remind our clients to keep tabs on their credit profile.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide a free copy of a credit report, at the client’s request, once every 12 months. The purpose of the FCRA is to promote the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies.
The three biggest credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — have set up a central website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which the client can order their free annual report.
The client can visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies may be ordered at the same time, or separately. The law allows one free copy of each report from the nationwide credit reporting companies every 12 months.
The website also contains information on how to correct any inaccuracies in the report. Note that the free reports do not include “credit scores” as the scoring models are proprietary of each credit reporting company. You can often purchase your scored report directly from them.