As a savvy consumer, you may believe that you can’t get something for nothing. Even when an ad claims to offer something for free, there are often hidden costs. When it comes to your annual credit report, however, you really can get something for nothing, and if someone is trying to charge you for it, you should avoid using their services. We explain how to get your free report here.
This Is the Only Website You Should Use
There are three nationwide credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide you with a free copy of your report once every 12 months. You may choose to get all three at one time, or you can stagger when you get them throughout the year to provide a more comprehensive look at your credit history. The only way to request a free copy of your report is through the website AnnualCreditReport.com, by calling the toll free number 877-322-9228, or by mailing in a request form. Do not contact each CRA individually for a report as they only provide free reports through this central request line. If you request your report through the website, you will be able to access it immediately.
Be Aware of Imposter Websites
In your search for your credit report, you will likely come across other companies offering free reports. However, many of these come with strings attached. For example, you may be offered a free trial period and then be charged once the period has expired. You may also come across credit monitoring services that charge a fee. For most people, requesting a free credit report, thoroughly reviewing it for errors, and filing a complaint when you find an error are enough to keep your credit rating safe, and it comes at no cost to you.
The Consumer Law Group Can Help
The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects consumers from bad credit reports and offers several avenues for correcting misinformation and holding the offending parties responsible. If you have struggled to correct your credit report, we may be able to help. Fill out the contact link on this page to get started.