How to Get FREE Credit Reports

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Reviewing your credit report at least once per year is vital to maintaining a good credit history. Omissions, inaccuracies, human errors or even identity theft can all be spotted before any major damage is done to your credit rating. Errors that aren’t corrected can severely limit your ability to borrow money, buy a home, apply for a credit card, get insurance or even a job.

Not all credit reports are truly “free”

Many websites advertise FREE credit reports, but these “free” reports often come with strings attached. Most are only made available when you sign up for a free trial of credit monitoring or other related financial services. In most cases, if you cancel before the trial period ends you can keep your free credit reports. But if you fail to cancel, you’ll be billed each month for the service.

Other Ways to Get Credit Reports for Free

Another option for obtaining your credit report only arises if you’ve been denied credit within the last 60 days. If you were denied credit because of information supplied by a credit bureau, federal law requires the creditor give you the name of the credit bureau that supplied the information and you can request a free copy of your credit report to resolve the issue. You have 60 days to contact the credit bureau if you would like a free copy of your credit report.

But the easiest way to get your credit reports for free is to visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Thanks to a federal law enacted in 2005, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three main credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

The three credit agencies have set up this central website, along with a toll-free telephone number and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual reports. You may order your reports from each of the three consumer reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies at different times throughout the year. To order, visit AnnualCreditReport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:

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

Contact information for individual credit agencies:

Equifax
Report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion
Report fraud: 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064

Experian
Report fraud: 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013