Your Financial Future:
Get Your Credit Report
Get a Free Report
All U.S. Citizens are eligible for one free credit report from each credit agency per year. To receive your free annual credit report visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. This is the only website for free credit reports recommended by the U.S. federal governement.
You can also get a copy of your report for free anytime if:
- You have been denied credit for any reason and a credit report was used in making the decision. You have 60 days to mail proof of rejection to the reporting credit bureau;
- You are unemployed, actively seeking employment, or if an employer or potential employer has requested a credit report;
- You are receiving public welfare assistance; or
- You believe your credit report has been used to perpetrate a fraud.
Experts suggest looking credit reports from all three agencies to get an overall picture, because your credit report may vary from one company to another.
To create this score report, Equifax partnered with Fair Isaac, a California-based business whose credit scoring system is used by many creditors.
Experian uses its own scoring model, based on the same factors used by the Fair Isaac’s model. Scorecard gives you a personalized credit-score analysis by telling you which of your accounts positively or negatively affects your score.
TransUnion offers a bare-bones service: they give you a score, and a brief analysis of the factors affecting your score.
Be Careful to Avoid "Sneaky" Credit Reporting Companies!
There are many websites that may seem to offer free credit report services; however, they are still trying to find ways to take your money or charge you for services. Three main things to look out for when getting your free credit report are: false websites, offers with suggested "add-ons," and companies using the name, “free credit report.”
1. False Websites:
The only website approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is AnnualCreditReport.com. No other site is official and is probably a scam. Some sites ask for personal information, including your credit card number, that they will use to put false charges on your card, or charge your credit card for services you did not request. To make sure you are at the approved website, type the address directly into your browser or go through the FTC’s website.
2. Add-Ons from Credit Reporting Agencies:
When you are on the correct website, you will have to enter your personal information three times; for each of the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). You can receive reports from all three at once, or return to the website throughout the year to request your report from each agency separately. However, this site will also showcase additional services available to you, such as sending a copy of your FICO score, credit monitoring, or other services. These are neither required to receive your credit report nor are they free.
3. Using the Name “Free Credit Report”:
Some companies simply use the name “Free Credit Report,” but they are not affiliated with the approved government agency. These companies may enroll you in a “monitoring program” or make you pay to receive your credit score. The only truly free and approved website to receive your credit report is AnnualCreditReport.com.