Did you know that everyone is entitled to free credit reports every year? You should be able to get one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus. This has come as a result of the passage of the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Thanks to the passing of this law the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required to give consumers a free credit report every twelve months (upon request of course). You can get these reports from a free centralized source which includes a telephone number, a postal address, and a website. Here’s how to check your credit report for free and some helpful tips on not getting scammed while doing it.
You can also have access to free credit reports by making a simple phone call. If you’re not internet savvy then this might be the better route for you. Some people would rather make a phone call than go through the entire process online. The number for calling to get a free credit report is (877) 322-8228. They can walk you through everything and get it sent out to you immediately. Make sure you are clear in your instructions that you want a copy of your credit report for “free.”
You can also request a copy of your free credit report by filling out the back of the Annual Credit Report Request brochure. Simply fill it out and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281
You can order all three credit reports from the three major credit bureaus at the same time or do them at different times throughout the year. Make sure you order them through the centralized agency though; ordering them through the credit bureaus will result in fee.
Surfing the Web
When people start looking for free credit reports they go online and type in a search for “free credit report.” Unfortunately the majority of the sites that come up with this kind of search aren’t really free credit report offers at all. They are usually sites that are offering credit monitoring services; not a free credit report. And what’s worse than this is that a lot of the websites you’ll find by putting that topic into a search engine are totally bogus websites; phishing scams. Many of these websites are sent via spam and you should never respond to them. Yes it can be difficult finding the right place to go and figuring out where to look, but you can find them. The only website that has been authorized by the FTC that can give out free credit reports can be found at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get free reports from each of the three major credit bureaus every twelve months from this website, but be careful when typing in the URL. A slight mistake can take you to websites that may claim to give you a free credit report but will actually charge you; either outright or in the fine print.
So that’s how to check your credit report for free; don’t get discouraged though if your first attempt does not work or takes you longer than you had hoped. Credit bureaus are notoriously famous for giving you the run around. Stand your ground and don’t give into all the garbage they feed you. You are “entitled” to receive free credit reports yearly.