When applying for specific products and services, the creditor will review a copy of your credit report to find out if you qualify. If there is information in your credit report that does not meet the creditor standards, such as too many new orders, the creditor may reject your application.
Spam and your right to a free credit report
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law governing credit reporting, requires that you receive an unfavorable legal letter whenever you have an unauthorized application because of the information in your credit report.
The negative action letter should explain the reasons why you were rejected and inform you of your right to receive a free copy of the credit report used in the decision. You then have 60 days to order your free credit report. This adverse letter will include the name and address of the credit bureau that submitted the credit report used in the decision and instructions for ordering a free credit report.
Each of the three major credit bureaus also has a website with information on ordering adverse event reports.
Free credit report from only one bureau
In the event of adverse action, you are entitled to order a free credit report from the credit bureau that provided the report used in the creditor’s decision. For example, if the lender reviewed your Equifax credit report to process your application, you are entitled to a free Equifax credit report.
Credit bureaus know if they will provide a free copy of your credit report based on your recent credit requests.
Please note that the creditor, not the credit bureau, has made the decision to reject your application. If you have any questions about why you were rejected, the creditor will be able to answer them.
Make sure you order a free copy of your credit report to understand the information that led to your application being denied. If there is inaccurate information in your credit report, you can dispute it with credit bureaus to correct it. Once your credit report is updated with the correct information, you can resubmit your application for a better chance once approved.
There is no free credit report when credit is not a factor
You can only order this specific free credit report when the information in your credit report was the reason you declined. For example, if you were withheld because your income was too low, you may not qualify for a free credit report under this section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The creditor is still required to send a letter explaining why you were rejected, but there will be no instructions in the letter to order a free credit report.
You still get an annual credit report
The credit report you receive when you are denied credit is in addition to the annual credit report that you can order annually from three credit bureaus through the Annual Credit Portfolio.