Wallet Hacks

Remember to Request Specialty Consumer Reports Annually Too!

If you're on top of your credit, and we should all be on top of our credit, you know that you can get your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax once a year.

They are not the only consumer reports you have the right to see each year.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you access to those credit reports, which you can get through annualcreditreport.com, but also any such consumer reports from consumer reporting agencies.

If you look at the Fair Credit Reporting Act (link to the relevant part), a consumer reporting agency is defined as “any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.”

A consumer report is defined as “any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for (1) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, or (2) employment purposes, or (3) other purposes authorized under section 604.”

If you care to read the entire definition, it's far broader than “credit report.” Specialty consumer reports are similar to credit reports in that they collect personal information, so they fall under the same rules.

How to Request Your Specialty Reports

There is no central site you can go to that will coordinate getting these reports, you'll have to go to each company and request it yourself.

Here are some of the biggest ones:

I've tried to list each of the major consumer reporting agencies but there are many more. These are just some of the more well-known ones.

Many years ago, I requested every report I could find and the vast majority replied that they had no information about me. I didn't want to list every one because it could be a collosal waste of your time, these are just the bigs ones. Even then, they may contain very little information, especially if you haven't done anything risky. 🙂

You can go to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse for the full list.