To get your credit reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com, where you may get them for free every week until April 2022.
You get free access to your credit reports from the three main credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, under federal law. The simplest method to get them is via the government-mandated AnnualCreditReport.com website, but you may also request them by phone or mail. Until April 20, 2022, such reports, which were previously only accessible once a year, will be provided regularly to assist people to manage their money.
Your credit reports provide a thorough record of your credit history, but they do not include your credit score. CreditKarma provides a free credit score and report based on TransUnion and Equifax data that is updated weekly. Checking your credit score does not harm your credit.
This is how AnnualCreditReport.com works.
1. Navigate to the appropriate website.
First, double-check that you’re on the correct website: AnnualCreditReport.com. Some other websites have names that sound similar to this one. The one you’re looking for looks like this:
2. Fill up your personal details
Your name, Social Security number, address, and birthday will be required. This, along with other personal information, will be compared to files in order to be identified.
3. Obtain a credit report or reports.
You may get credit reports from one, two, or all three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
4. Answer security questions correctly.
For each report request, you’ll be asked a few questions about your finances that only you should be able to answer, such as the approximate amount of your mortgage payment or who owns your vehicle loan, and when you took it out.
Some customers have complained about having trouble accessing the site, especially when completing security questions for accounts that are many years old. If you can’t remember those specifics, you may get your reports by mail or phone; this approach does not need security questions.
5. Use the internet to generate your credit report.
You may save reports to your desktop or print them to have them available later.
if you need to request a report or reports via mail, send a request form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Within 15 business days, you should get your report or reports.
Call 877-322-8228 to get your credit reports. Customers who are blind or visually challenged may also contact this number to get audio, large-print, or Braille reports.
6. Review your reports and correct any problems.
Examine your credit reports for the following items:
- Accounts that are not yours or that you have not authorized.
- Incorrect and unfavorable information
- Negative data that is too old to be included. Except for one sort of bankruptcy, most negative material should be discarded after seven years.
According to Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, these mistakes have the potential to harm your credit score. Other sorts of inaccuracies, such as out-of-date job information, may appear, but they aren’t included in your score, she adds.
If you notice any inaccuracies, you should contest them. The credit bureaus will conduct an investigation and must erase any information that cannot be verified.
7. Keep a close eye on your credit
Monitoring your scores and reports might alert you to issues such as a missed payment or identity theft. It also allows you to monitor your credit-building progress. NerdWallet provides a free credit report summary as well as a free credit score, both of which are updated weekly.
Here’s how AnnualCreditReport.com’s information varies from that of free personal financial websites:
AnnualCreditReport.com offers the following:
- Observations (not scores)
- Data from each of the three main credit agencies
- A detailed history of your credit use
Personal financial websites, such as NerdWallet, offer:
- Credit ratings and, on sometimes, credit report information
- Unrestricted access
- Information from one or two credit bureaus
- A recent credit use history
- More information on establishing and safeguarding your credit
Commonly Asked Questions
Is AnnualCreditReport.com a safe website?
AnnualCreditReport.com is legal and safe to use – as long as you make sure you’re on the right site.
When you input the URL, double-check it to ensure you haven’t made a mistake. Because some other sites have similar-sounding names, double-check that the URL matches and that the site appears as intended.
Although your credit reports are free, credit bureaus utilize the AnnualCreditReport.com website to market credit scores and advertise premium services like credit monitoring. Monitoring, on the other hand, does not prevent your identity from being stolen; it only warns you after the fact. Use a credit freeze for maximum security.
“All you have to do is receive your free credit report.” “Don’t get taken in by the upsell,” warns Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the Public Interest Research Group of the United States.
When I request reports, what do I get?
Your creditors provide you account information on a regular basis, such as payments, credit applications, the proportion of available credit you’re using, and negative marks such as collections. The three agencies include the information in the credit reports available at AnnualCreditReport.com.
A credit report and a credit score are not the same things. Some of the information in your credit reports is used to calculate your credit score.
If you accessed your reports using the web portal, we recommend saving them as PDFs or printing them. Once you get them, go through them carefully for errors.
When should I expect to get my AnnualCreditReport.com reports?
If you haven’t done so in at least a year, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and get all three credit reports.
It’s also a good idea to verify them if you’ve gotten payment adjustments or other assistance, such as during the epidemic, and want to make sure creditors are reporting those accounts appropriately.
In addition, if you’re ready to apply for a major loan, such as a mortgage, you should get and review your credit reports. This allows you to correct any faults that are decreasing your score before submitting, giving you a higher chance of acceptance.