You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.
Let us start by saying that The Interest Free Credit Cards Hub is not breaking this news. But the simple fact is, at least from the people we have spoken with, there are a lot of folks that do not know that they can access their credit report, for free, with no strings attached . And for this reason, we feel it should be discussed.
Your Free Credit Report – Government Mandated.
The FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT is what guarantees and grants you access to your free credit reports. The three nationwide reporting companies are required to give you one credit report, for free, every 12 months. This happened because of a large amount of complaints that consumers brought to the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers were complaining about the fact that they could not get their credit report for free without having to sign up for additional services.
So You Are Allowed A Free Credit Report. Great. But Where Do You Go?
Just like the quote above says. You can head over to the AnnualCreditReport.com website, or call the toll-free number. You can even request your report by mail if you so choose. I have not personally called the toll-free number or made a request by mail. But I have gone to the website. For the most part, it is pretty straight-forward at the beginning. However, once you are past the first few pages of the AnnualCreditReport.com website it can be a little tricky. That is because each of the three reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, have their own website that is linked through from AnnualCreditReport.com. If you would like your free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com, be sure to have a look at our Tutorials. We have created a three-part series of video Tutorials to show you step-by-step how to get your free credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
What About The Paid Services?
There are several companies on the TV and on the internet that offer services related to your credit report and credit score. As with anything in this world, some are great, some are good, and some are bad. If you are in the market for these services then be sure to do your homework. Check out as many as you can, see what they offer, and see what they cost. And as always, read the fine print.
Budgeting Your Free Credit Reports When You Are On A Budget.
If you can not afford one of the credit reporting services advertised on TV or the internet, why not get the next best thing? You could go on to AnnualCreditReport.com and get a report from each reporting agency in one sitting. But why not spread them out? Since you can only obtain one report from a company per year, request one every 4 months from a different company. For example, you could request a report from Experian every January, Equifax every May, and TransUnion every September. This would allow you to see your credit report three times a year. This would also allow you to catch any mistakes, or fraud, on your report in a 4 month period instead of a 12 month period.