Did you know you can get up to 3 free credit reports each and every year with no strings attached? Don’t worry if you didn’t know that, many people don’t. But, it’s true, and it takes just a few minutes to do using your computer. If you don’t feel comfortable requesting your reports using your computer, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you how to request a copy by phone and by mail as well.
Under the United States Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), each of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – provide you with a free copy of your credit report, upon request, once a year.
A few years ago, there was a central website created by these three nationwide reporting agencies, that allows you to easily request a copy of your credit history report from each of them. You can request your report from all three companies at the same time, or from each one individually throughout the year.
The quickest and easiest way to get a copy of your credit report is by going to www.annualcreditreport.com and requesting your report online. This is what I always do, which literally takes me less than 10 minutes to download and print all three of my credit reports.
I choose to download all three of mine at the same time because it allows me to compare them for discrepancies, and ensure they have all of the correct information. However, many people choose to download one now, then the other two at later dates. For example, you could download your TransUnion credit file in January, your Experian credit report 4 months later in May, then your Equifax credit report in September. This would allow you to track your credit file rather closely for free throughout the entire year.
You can also request your report using the phone by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by filling out the request form https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/requestformfinal.pdf and mailing it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
The only bummer is they don’t give you a credit score. You’ll have to pay each of these credit bureaus, or use a third-party to retrieve your reported credit scores.
What do you think of annualcreditreport.com?
If you’ve had any issues with their services or had a good experience that you would like to tell others about, please feel free to share your review in the comments below.
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