All U.S. residents are entitled to receive annually a copy of their credit report free from each of the three major credit bureaus. The free credit report program, created by Congress, allows everyone to request a free copy of their credit report one time per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). To make the request, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com or you may call (877) 322-8228.
This free service arose out of legislation that sought to make consumers more knowledgeable – and responsible – about their credit history. You can order all three free credit reports at once or you can order them separately throughout the year. However, each of the credit bureaus will only provide you one free report per year. Additional requests will cost you, generally around $20 per report or $30-$40 for a consolidated report from all three credit bureaus.
The free credit report service does not give you the right to get a copy of your credit score, which is often called your FICO score. However, if you would like to obtain your current FICO score, you may request such when you request your free credit report. You will be charged a fee, generally around $6-$8, for the FICO score.
Everyone should take advantage of the free credit report offer. It is very simple to obtain by going to the web site listed above. You can print your credit report out immediately or make such available over a secure web link for up to 30 days. So take a look at your credit report today. If you see any problems, follow the directions provided to attempt to clear up any discrepancies. Later on you will be glad you took this simple step.
Please be cautious when requesting your free credit report. Such can only be obtained from the web site listed above. While there are dozens of sites that purport to offer free reports, www.annualcreditreport.com is the only free site recognized by the three credit bureaus.