Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
If you have negative information on your credit report, such as late payments or a bankruptcy, it can negatively impact your credit score. Lenders use your credit report to gauge your riskiness as a borrower, and it can be frustrating if you’re turned down for credit because of this negative information.
In these situations, you may desperately want to explain yourself to the lender—and you have the right to do so.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to attach a personal statement to your credit report. It isn’t much (just 100 words, or 200 words in the state of Maine), and it has no numerical value in the formula that generates your credit score.
However, a personal statement allows you to explain the circumstances behind the negative information or to dispute information you feel is incorrect although a creditor has verified it as correct. This statement will be included each time your credit file is accessed. You can add a statement to your credit report by sending your statement in writing to the address below.
Here are four things to remember when adding a personal statement to any of your three credit reports:
1. Be succinct.
You don’t have many words with which to work, so be clear and use specific dates, names, and supporting evidence if at all possible. The statement gives you the opportunity to give the facts surrounding the situation to potential lenders or creditors.
For example, if you’ve been a victim of identity theft and have disputed fraudulent charges, but an investigation does not resolve your dispute, a personal statement can help explain the situation.
2. Don’t make excuses.
A personal statement doesn’t carry enough weight to counter a lengthy series of credit problems. When written as an excuse (“I forgot to mail a check,” for example), a personal statement can be interpreted as an admission of having poor money management skills rather than as an explanation of a one-time event.
3. Your statement may not sway lenders.
Because personal statements aren’t factored into your credit score, they may not influence whether a lender grants you credit.
However, if you take the time to write a thoughtful and specific statement, it might demonstrate to the lender that you’re educated about your rights, take your credit score seriously, and are proactive about your finances.
4. Remove the statement when the information is deleted.
After your creditors stop reporting the information to which the statement refers, you may want to remove the statement from your credit report. If you don’t, it may alert lenders to credit issues you had in the past that you have since resolved.
To remove a consumer statement from your Equifax Credit Report, send your removal request in writing to:
Equifax Consumer Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
You can visit the TransUnion and Experian websites for more information on removing consumer statements from your credit files with those credit reporting agencies.
If you choose to add a personal statement to your report, it’s important to remember that it comes with no guarantee that creditors will read what you have written. But 100 words are better than nothing, and it may be worth considering what writing a statement might accomplish.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.