Experian, TransUnion and Equifax now offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com.
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The national credit reporting agencies—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—provide accessible credit reports to those with disabilities. Accessible credit reports may come as hard copies in Braille, large print or audio format, or in a digital format that is formatted to meet accessibility standards according to the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium.
Here are the three ways you can get an accessible version of your Experian credit report.
1. Call Experian for an Alternate Format
If you need to receive your credit report in Braille, large print or an audio format, you can contact Experian at 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742).
You will be prompted to select an alternate format version of your credit report at the end of the transaction.
This service is available with the assistance of a local relay operator for deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
2. Call the Annual Credit Report Request Service
If you are blind according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can get free accessible copies of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus by calling the AnnualCreditReport.com Credit Report Request Service. It can be reached toll free at 877-322-8228.
You will need to provide personal information to confirm your identity and additional information to certify you are blind. Then you will be able to pick the credit report format you prefer: Braille, large print or audio format. Reports should arrive in about three weeks.
Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can call 711 for TDD services and ask the relay operator to call 800-821-7232.
3. Request Your Report at AnnualCreditReport.com
AnnualCreditReport.com also makes it possible for those using a screen reader or magnifier to navigate the website.
You can access a digital credit report immediately on AnnualCreditReport.com. Digital credit reports available through AnnualCreditReport.com comply with accessibility standards.
Why It's Important to Check Your Credit Report if You Have a Disability
It's important for everyone, including those with disabilities, to check their credit report. Credit reports are a fundamental component of your overall financial health: They show your history of managing debt in the form of loans and credit card accounts and can alert you to potential identity theft.
Your credit reports are also used to calculate your credit scores, so the information contained within them can impact your ability to borrow money, obtain insurance, rent an apartment and more.
Your credit report contains information such as:
- Personal identification information including your name and address
- Your open credit accounts, outstanding balances and monthly payment information going back up to 10 years
- Collection accounts
- Any bankruptcies
- Recent credit inquiries
Knowing what's on your credit report can help you work on improving your credit score. Paying down high credit card balances, bringing past-due payments up to date and ensuring you make all your payments on time are all good places to start.
Why Credit Is Important for People With Disabilities
Establishing a credit history and maintaining a good credit score are important for people with disabilities because they can ease financial concerns and help you reach your goals. A good credit score can help you qualify and get better terms and rates for loans and credit cards, while a low score can impact you in many ways, such as your ability to get a new cellphone, how much you'll pay in deposits when you set up your utilities and more. These factors can be especially important if you're living on SSI or SSDI.
Unfortunately, many people with disabilities don't have the access to the affordable credit they need, according to a National Disability Institute survey. Much of this stems from a reluctance to take on debt, and often leaves people in a bind when they need money quickly. Therefore they may be more likely to borrow from payday, auto title or pawn loans, which can be very expensive and carry restrictive terms.
When you get an accessible credit report, you'll open yourself up to broader financial opportunities to help you achieve your goals. Get started by requesting your accessible credit report today.