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Annual Credit Report for Free

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Federal law allows you to get a free annual copy of your credit report from the three primary credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  However, be careful of imitators that are not really free.  For example, some companies will provide you copies of your credit report, and even include the word “free” in the title of their website, but their services are not really free.  Instead, they often require you to purchase a product or service (such as a credit monitoring service) in order to obtain your credit report.    One of those,, has paid over a million dollars in fines to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that its ads were misleading.

You can get to the website from which you can obtain your free credit report annually by clicking here.  You can request your credit report through that website, and get it almost instantly.  Or, you can also order your credit report by phone or mail through that website.  Once you get your annual credit report, make sure to review it carefully to ensure there are no errors.  Sometimes, you will see accounts you closed long ago still being listed as active.  Other accounts can indicate you are behind in your payments even when you are not.

If you find any errors in your credit report, immediately notify the credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion).  Describe the error to them in detail, and provide them with documentation showing their error (if you have that documentation).  Keep in mind, you have the legal right to dispute any of the listed debts, and they are required to be marked as “disputed” if they are not removed.