How You Can Get Your Free Credit Report

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Triston Martin

Oct 09, 2022

Checking your credit report, a financial report with information about your credit accounts can help you keep or improve your credit score and look for signs of identity theft. You can check your credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. This website allows you to obtain a free duplicate of your credit report from every of the three main credit agencies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—once a year, as federal law requires. Your credit report has a lot of information about how you've used credit in the past, but it doesn't include your credit score. We'll show you how to use the website and what to look for when you check your credit reports.

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com.

Start by going to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free report. To keep your personal information from being stolen, make sure you're on the appropriate website by entering the URL into your browser's URL bar and choosing a link from a reliable source.

Fill In Your Details

Click the "Request your free credit reports" button near the top or bottom left of the page once you're on the right website. After that, click the button with the exact words that say, "Fill out a form." The last step is to write your name, date of birth, address, and SSN (Social Security Number) on the form. If you haven't lived at your current address for at least two years, you'll also have to put in your previous address.

Get Reports on Your Credit and Answer Any Security Questions

After filling out the form, you can ask for credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. To prove who you are, you might have to answer a few security questions. For each report request, you will be asked a few questions about your finances that probably only you can answer, such as your expected home payment and who handles your vehicle loan, and when you took it out. Some users have said that the site is hard to use, especially when it comes to answering security questions for accounts that are years old. You can still ask for your reports by phone or mail if you can't remember these details. You don't have to answer any security questions to do this.

Your Report Can Be Made Online

If you want to look at your credit report again later, save it to your computer or print it out before you close the window. If you can't get a free copy of your credit report online, you can also call or write to ask for one.

Check Your Report and Dispute Any Mistakes You Find

One of the most important things you can do to build and keep good credit is to read your credit report. When you look at your report, ensure that the information about you and your account is correct. Some common mistakes to watch out for on credit reports are:

  • The name or address is incorrect
  • Accounts that don't belong to you
  • The account balance or credit limit was wrong
  • Open accounts for which you have already paid

If you find an error, you can dispute it with each credit bureau that has it on your report or with the creditor who put it there. Most of the time, it takes 30 days to finish an investigation. If the credit bureau finds out that the information was wrong after the event ends, it will take it off.

Check Your Credit Report Often

If you check your scores and reports often, you might discover problems like a payment you forgot to make or someone stealing your identity. You can also keep track of how your credit is improving. Here's how the information on AnnualCreditReport.com differs from what you might find on free personal finance sites:

  • Reports (not scores)
  • The three largest credit bureaus' information
  • A long list of everything you've done with credit

Personal financial websites offer:

  • Nothing can stop it
  • What you've done in the past with credit
  • The information from one or two credit bureaus
  • Scores on credit reports and sometimes information from them

Is Annualcreditreport.Com Safe To Use?

Federal law lets you use AnnualCreditReport.com, and it's safe to do so as long as you're on the right site. Check the URL you just typed twice to make sure you didn't make a mistake. Some other sites have names that sound like yours, so make sure that the URL matches and that the site looks the way you expect it to.

Be aware that your credit report is free; however credit bureaus as well utilize the AnnualCreditReport.com website to sell credit scores and promote paid services like credit monitoring. But monitoring doesn't stop someone from stealing your identity; it just tells you after the fact. The best way to keep yourself safe is to freeze your credit.


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