You have the right to a free credit report each year, thanks to a federal law called the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.
Utilize your right to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to keep tabs on your credit.
3 Methods of Order
You can obtain your official, free annual credit report in one of three ways.
Visit www.annualcreditreport.com online. “Request Free Credit Reports” should be clicked. Follow the instructions to complete your request. If you have any doubts about a link leading to the official annual credit report website, type the address into your browser directly. Just be careful not to type the address incorrectly, as this could lead you to a malicious website.
You must fill out a request form in order to request your annual credit report by mail.
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to download and print an annual credit report request form. To view and print the form, you must have Adobe Reader or another PDF reader installed on your computer. Once the form is finished, you should mail it to:
Request for Annual Credit Report Service
P.O. Box 105281
30348-5281 Atlanta, Georgia
If you order your annual credit report over the phone or by mail, you will receive it in two to three weeks. You ought to be able to access your online order right away.
You should order your annual credit report through one of the methods mentioned above, not directly from the credit bureaus, or through any other websites, in order to obtain a free credit report. Equifax is an exception to this rule, though. If you register for a free my Equifax account, Equifax will send you six free copies of your credit report each year. This service will be provided until at least 2026. 2
Write to the appropriate credit bureau to report any errors you find on your credit report. Keep a copy of everything you send.
You have the option of ordering all three annual credit reports at once or distributing them throughout the year. You have the option of ordering your annual credit report from Equifax in April, Experian in August, TransUnion in December, and then starting over with Equifax in April of the following year. You could do this to keep an eye on your credit all year long.
In some cases, you can also request a free credit report. These consist of:
If a business acts in a negative way toward you, like turning down your credit application,
If you don’t have a job but intend to look for one within the next 60 days,
When receiving welfare
If identity theft has caused your report to be inaccurate,
You will get a letter if a business takes unfavorable action against you, with information on which credit bureau to contact. If you fall under one of the other categories that give you the right to an additional free report, contact each credit bureau separately to request a copy. 2. If none of these applies to you and you require a second copy of your credit report, you can purchase one by getting in touch with the appropriate credit bureau.
Credit reports are available for $1 or for free.
There were dozens of fake websites on the internet offering to give you a free annual credit report before the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. Your credit card information would be requested on these websites, and you would be signed up for a free trial membership to a credit monitoring service.
Your credit card would be charged for the duration of the credit monitoring service if you forgot to cancel the trial. These tricks are still used today, but the majority now charge $1 for your credit report as opposed to giving it away for free. You don’t need to use a credit card or sign up for a free trial subscription to order your free annual credit report from a legitimate website.
Understanding Your Credit Score
You must order your credit score separately because it is not included in your annual credit report, whether you paid for it or not. Through websites like CreditKarma.com or CreditSesame.com, you can check it for free. MyFICO.com or one of the three credit bureaus both offer credit score ordering services for a fee.