Activity 6: Obtaining a Credit Report

(Objective 2: Become familiar with the information on a credit report, how it is used and how to improve a credit report.)

Provide Handout 5: Obtaining a Credit Report, which contains information about obtaining a free credit report. Review Handout 6: Annual Credit Request Form highlighting how to secure a credit report.

Suggest that participants sign up for reminders to check their credit report three times a year using the Extension website: Annual Credit Report Request Form is available to print at this site.

Point out to participants that if they get a copy of their credit report before submitting any housing applications they will know what is on it and can make corrections, if necessary. In addition, many landlords will obtain a credit report before accepting an application. Under Wisconsin Landlord-Tenant rules, the landlord may charge a prospective tenant the actual cost, up to $20, for the report. The landlord must notify the applicant of the charge before requesting the credit report and must provide potential tenants with a copy of the report.

Also, prospective tenant may be able to save money if they have a copy of their credit report that is less than 30 days old and give it to the prospective landlord before he/she requests one from a reporting agency.