Frequently Asked Questions

About American Credit Report

Why do I need to provide my Social Security number?
Your SS is required to ensure you receive your accurate and complete credit history. Please note that, per our privacy policy, American Credit Report does NOT store your Social Security number. Rest assured that any other personal information you provide through our site is protected by multiple layers of SSL encryption security.
Why doesn't ordering my credit report hurt my credit score?
Not all inquiries are created equal. If you are trying to get a loan or apply for a credit card, these types of inquiries can affect your credit score, and are known as "hard pulls." However, if you look at your credit file, or even if an employer checks your file as part of a background check, these are considered "soft pulls" and do NOT impact your score.
How long can I view a credit report online?
You can look at your original credit reports as often as you like for up to 90 days. The information reported will not change, so you can compare it to future reports you may order. If you want to keep your report for longer, consider printing it and filing it in a secure location. You can always order a fresh report and see all your changes in one report. Click "Fresh Report" to order a new report now.
How do I cancel my Credit Monitoring membership?
If credit monitoring is not right for you, simply call our Customer Service staff toll-free at (1-888) 866-0616 and they will be glad to help with your request. Customer Service is available to help Monday through Friday from 8 AM - 8 PM, and Saturdays from 9 AM - 6 PM Eastern Time.

You can also contact us by email or regular mail:

By Email:
We give email a priority and most receive a quick response during business hours. We will reply to every email within 48 hours.

By Mail:
American Credit Report
2200 SW 10th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
What if I forget my username or password?
No problem! Go to and click on the "Member Login" section on the upper right corner. Then, click on the "Forgot my User Name or Password" link above the Login button. Provide the information requested to gain secure access to your account. You can then go to the Account tab to update your password.
What is an "Authentication Error?"
At American Credit Report, protecting your privacy is a top priority. To ensure only authorized users access your information, we require that you validate information that only you would have. If you are having trouble validating the information, our Customer Service staff will be happy to help. Give them a call toll-free at (1-888) 866-0616.
How do I print my reports?
From your menu bar, press the "Print" option.
How do I update my email address or login information?
After logging into, click on the "Account Information" tab. From there, click the "Edit" button to change your information. Changing certain information may require you to revalidate your identify.
Where do my credit reports come from?
The three main credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. With a three-bureau report or Credit Monitoring from American Credit report, you receive reports or alerts from all three bureaus. With a one-bureau report, your report or alerts come from Experian.
How do I challenge information on my credit report that I believe to be inaccurate?
Incorrect information can impact your score, and it is your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to have it corrected. Each of the "big 3" credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- has their own dispute process. Click on the "Dispute Center" tab for links and instructions on filing a dispute with each bureau.
I don't expect to see changes on my report. How will I know you are monitoring?
As long as your account is active, we will send you email every other week to let you know that we are still monitoring for any changes. Be sure to add to your safe senders list. If you do not receive our emails, please check your email filters.

About Credit

What is a credit report?
If you've ever applied for a credit card, a personal loan, or insurance, then there's a file about you. This file is known as your credit report. It is full of information on where you live and have lived, your work history, your payment history, loans and credit cards, whether you've been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Having a good credit report means it will be easier for you to get loans and lower interest rates. Your credit report is also used to generate your all-important credit score, which is discussed below.
What is a credit score?
Every day, creditors, lenders, and even prospective employers use your credit scores from the big three credit bureaus -- Equifax, Transunion and Experian -- to determine if you'll qualify for loans, a mortgage, credit cards--even a job! Credit scores give lenders and creditors a fast, objective measurement of your credit risk. Your credit scores have a huge impact on your financial life, as they are used by creditors and lenders to determine if you qualify for, and what you will pay on:

  • Auto financing and leasing rates
  • Credit card rates
  • Mortgage qualification and interest rates
  • Car insurance rates
  • ...and much more

Lenders want to know if you're a good risk for their money. To determine that, they look at how many debts you have, what the totals are, and your track record for repayment. Basically, a credit score is just your credit history at one moment in time, boiled down to a number.

Credit bureau scores are often called "FICO scores" because most credit bureau scores used in the U.S. are produced from software developed by Fair Isaac and Company. Scores run from 300 (worst) to 850 (best), with the average hovering around 723. There are 5 main factors that influence your FICO score:

  • Payment history (35 percent) The bad news: While regular, on-time payments will keep your score high in this category, just one slip up can undo a lot of your hard work. Keep your payments timely.
  • Amounts owed (30 percent) Surprisingly, the amount of your income does not impact the typical FICO score (though some creditors will ask for the information for their own models). Instead, the formula looks at how much you owe, and compares that against your credit limits. Want a better score? Keep that number at or below 25 percent.
  • Length of credit history (15 percent) Lenders want to know how long you've been playing the credit game -- and as far as they're concerned, the longer the better. For creditors, time equals stability.
  • Credit inquiries (10 percent) Every time someone looks at your credit report, it generates a report known as an "inquiry." But there are two kinds, and it pays to know the difference. A "hard" inquiry occurs when you apply for credit and the potential lender pulls your report, and it will actually lower your score. It's best to avoid hard inquiries if you're about to go shopping for a home or auto loan.

    Again, checking your own credit report and scores is classified as a "soft" inquiry, and these do NOT affect your scores.
  • Your credit mix (10 percent) If your financial history shows a mix of different kinds of loans, like mortgages, revolving loans and installment loans, you demonstrate that you can responsibly manage more than one type of credit.
How long does information stay on my credit report?
That all depends on the type of information on your report. The good news is that each and every negative item on your credit report has a statute of limitations; some are longer than others:
Chapter 7 bankruptcies:10 years from the date filed
Chapter 13 bankruptcies:7 years from the discharge date
Foreclosures:7 years
Defaulted student loans:7 years
Late payments, delinquencies,
Collections, Charge-offs:
7 years
Can I get my credit report for free?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

Order your free annual credit report online at, or by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Although a report is free once a year, if you want a score, monitoring service, or a fresh report mid-year you will need to pay additional fees.