You Can Get Free Credits Reports Each Year Without Having to Enroll for Expensive Services
don't hand over credit card information for 'free' credit reports when you already qualify for truly free reports thanks to a federal law
You hear about free credit reports everywhere, but they're rarely free. In fact, you'll probably have to enroll for future recurring charges or pay fees for other unanticipated services. Before you jump into something that you don't fully understand, you should know there is a truly free option out there. You can get a truly free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
When Can I Get A Free Credit Report
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from all three major national credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, once every twelve (12) months.
Under federal law, you’re entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a credit reporting company may charge you a reasonable amount for another copy of your report within a 12-month period.
Where Do I Get My Free Annual Credit Report
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228 for a free copy of your credit reports. You won't have to pay, give a credit card number, or agree to sign up for any recurring services. This website is the only website offering these free reports.
You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can order your report from each of the companies one at a time.
Impostor Sites and Services
Websites offering "free credit reports," "free credit scores," or "free credit monitoring" are not part of the legally mandated free annual credit report program. In many cases, the "free" product comes with strings, such as conversion to a paid service after trial. If you don't cancel during the trial, you may be unwittingly agreeing to let the company start charging fees to your credit card.
Some fake sites use terms like "free report" in their names; others have URLs that purposely misspell the office website. Some of these "impostor" sites direct you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.
What do i need to provide to get my report?
You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting company may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.
What if i find errors on my credit report
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting company and the company or person providing the information about you are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information. You should tell the credit reporting company, in writing, which information you think is inaccurate or that you dispute an item. Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question within 30 days, unless they can show that your dispute is frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the reporting party, who then must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the credit reporting company.
What happens when an error is investigated and corrected?
If the reporting party finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide credit reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file. When the investigation is complete, the credit reporting company must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or deleted, the credit reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The credit reporting company also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
What do i do if I can't get an inaccurate item removed?
If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the credit reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service. If you tell the information provider that you dispute an item, a notice of your dispute must be included anytime the information provider reports the item to a credit reporting company.