In our January 8th, 2023, members only group chat, I demonstrated the process for ordering a Braille credit report from the automated telephone system at 1 (877) 332-8228. Large print and audio versions of your credit reports are also available using this system. It took about five days, including Saturday and Sunday, to receive the TransUnion credit report I ordered, but you can get your credit reports immediately, in electronic format, by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. It’s important to regularly review your credit reports for errors and, while each credit bureau’s credit report is formatted differently, I wanted to describe the Braille TransUnion credit report I received.

It arrived in the mail as a bound booklet containing 113 double-sided Braille pages. Pages 1 through 5 contain introductory material and instructions for disputing an error or submitting a statement about a financial hardship. While these instructions are accurate and helpful, I’d advise anyone who finds themselves needing to submit a dispute to contact the creditor along with the credit bureau. This may improve your chances of having the issue resolved.

Pages 5 – 8 contain a summary of the types of entries on my credit report including an easy-to-understand description of each type of entry. This will be especially useful to you if you’re reading your credit report for the first time.

Pages 9-11 contain personal information about me including a number of variations of my name such as Christopher and Chris. I also found a number of my past addresses and phone numbers, along with the dates they were reported. My address list was complete, but I noticed that some of my past phone numbers weren’t included. You probably don’t need to be concerned about missing personal information, but if you find incorrect personal information, such as addresses for places you’ve never lived or phone numbers you’ve never used, you may want to address this with the credit bureau since this could cause creditors to incorrectly attribute accounts to you.

Account information begins on page 11 with two pages of introductory information. These pages are easy to read and will be especially useful to you if you’re reading your credit report for the first time. My first account appears on page 13.

My credit report begins with a list of “adverse accounts”. These are accounts that bring down my credit score such as accounts with missed or late payments, or accounts that have been sent to collections. I have one adverse account that was sent to collections in 2018 because I forgot to pay the bill. I found out about it and paid it off in 2019. My credit report shows that I made the payment and that my balance is now $0.00, but the account may remain on my credit report for up to 7 years. TransUnion estimates that this adverse account will be removed from my credit report in March, 2024.

The rest of my accounts are listed between pages 14 and 56. There are accounts listed going back to 2003. Most account listings are quite long because they include the name and address of the lender, the dates the account was opened, last updated, and closed, and a complete history of the payments I made. You may find it eye-opening to see how much you pay toward your debts and how long you’ve been paying. I didn’t find any errors, but this is the section you’ll want to spend the most time on.

Your credit score will be impacted by any adverse accounts listed on your credit reports, as well as any accounts that don’t belong to you.

Pages 56-94 contain a list of inquiries. Inquiries are requests for my credit report for various reasons. Most of these were requested when I applied for a loan or credit card, but my bank has also requested a number of informational inquiries that are used to update the credit score I see in my mobile banking app. Some companies will even request your credit report so they can market to you. There is a note in my credit report that says I’ve opted out of marketing. I’ll write about how to go about doing that in a future post.

The remaining pages contain legal disclosures. They may seem daunting, but they’re important to read, especially if you need to correct any errors. They describe your rights as a consumer and list contact information for all three credit bureaus as well as other agencies that may be able to help you. I hope I never need this information, but I keep it around because it’s a good reference source.

To summarize, my credit report contains my personal information, the accounts I’ve paid or am paying on, and the inquiries companies have made about me. Your credit report may not be as long as mine is, but it’s important that you review it regularly to make sure that it’s accurate. You can request an accessible credit report, in electronic format, at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can only request a large print, Braille, or audio credit report by phone, though, at 1 (877) 332-8228.

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