How Do I Get My Free Annual Credit Report?Advertiser Disclosure by Gerri Detweiler
Do you want to check your free credit report for mistakes or fraud? Or do you want to know what lenders see when they review your credit? If so, you may be wondering, “How do I get my free annual credit report?”
Credit.com provides consumers with an easy-to-understand overview of their credit, along with their credit score, when they sign up for a free account. The data is updated every 14 days, and always for free. We frequently hear from people who have seen changes in either their credit scores or the information in their Credit Report Card and they want more information. People in this situation should definitely take a look at their actual credit reports. It’s your right, and it’s free.
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Under federal law, the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – are each required to provide consumers with one free copy of their credit report each year.
Getting your free credit report does not hurt your credit rating – nor does getting your credit score at Credit.com.
At AnnualCreditReport.com, you can request your report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can either order and view each report online, or request that a copy be mailed to you. You’ll have to provide personal information to verify your identity when you order.
It’s a good idea print a copy of your report if you find you need to dispute information on your report. If you download your report, make sure your computer is protected by up-to-date antivirus and malware programs. You don’t want your credit report to fall into the wrong hands!
If you prefer not to order your report online, or if you have trouble answering the security questions, you can order your reports by phone by calling 1-877-322-8228. You can also request your file by mail, which will require you to print the order form you’ll find online and mail it to the agencies with identifying information.
Some experts recommend staggering your requests for your reports so that you get one from each agency every four months. One of the problems with this approach is that these agencies don’t share information with each other, so if there is a mistake on one of your reports and you wait several months to order it, you might not catch it right away.
More Free Credit Reports
There are situations where you may be entitled to even more copies of your reports at no cost. If you a fraud victim, or you are unemployed and seeking work, for example, you can get additional copies without having to pay for them. In addition, in some states residents get additional opportunities to order free credit reports under state law.
If you’d like to have regular access to your credit reports as they are updated, you will most likely have to subscribe to a credit monitoring service, for which there will likely be a recurring monthly fee.