Credit Reports and Credit Scores

What is a Credit Report?

Your credit report contains information about where you live, the different types of accounts you have, your bill payment history including late payments, collection actions, outstanding debt, bankruptcies, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested.  This information is collected by credit reporting agencies and sold to creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses that have legitimate needs to access this information.

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a number that summarizes your credit risk based on the information in your credit report at a particular point in time.  In general, the higher the score, the lower the risk.

The most commonly used credit scores are FICO® scores, which are created by Fair Isaac Corporation.  FICO scores are provided by all three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  Scores are calculated from five basic groups of data in your credit report:

  • Payment history
  • Amounts owed on your accounts
  • New credit
  • Length of credit history
  • Types of credit used

How to Obtain Your Free Credit Report

You’ve probably heard or seen commercials with catchy jingles offering you your “free credit report.” is the ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law.

Beware of any other offer for free credit reports; they usually charge hidden fees or require subscriptions to unwanted services.  (If you paid for what you thought was your free annual credit report, the FTC wants to know.  Click here to file a complaint.)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to a free credit report once every twelve months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

You can order your free annual report online, by phone or by mail.

Online: Go to
By Phone: Call toll-free (877) 322-8228
By Mail: 1. Download the request form
2. Print and complete the form
3. Mail the completed form to:Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually; they provide free annual credit reports only through the contact methods above.

Disputing Incorrect Information on Your Credit Report

If you find an error on your credit report, contact the credit reporting agency and the provider of the information. If you are in the process of applying for a loan, immediately notify your lender of any incorrect information in your report.

If the incorrect information was reported by PSCU, you may contact us in writing to report the error.  Please note that you will need to provide any copies of credit reports, letters of dispute, etc. that you have.  The credit union will acknowledge receipt of this dispute within 10 days by email or regular mail, but the investigation may take up to three weeks to complete. Please send all correspondence to Attn: Credit Report Dispute Department, Public Service Credit Union,  PO Box 5238, Englewood, CO 80155.

Let PSCU Help Protect Your Account From Fraud

At PSCU, we may discover early signs of financial exploitation of a member’s account, but our legal obligation to maintain confidentiality limits our ability to release the information necessary to facilitate a rapid response from law enforcement and social service agencies.

To help protect yourself from this, you may give PSCU permission to give the proper authorities your confidential account information if we suspect that there has been any illegal or improper use of your financial resources, without notice or additional authorization.

Click here to download a printable consent form that you can complete and return to any PSCU branch.

Additional Resources

For more information on credit reports and credit scores, please visit the Web sites listed below.