21 Jan How to Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report
Less than 20% of Americans check their credit report in any given year, even though it’s free. No hidden fees, no credit card required. You can check your credit report once per year for absolutely no cost
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
It’s very important to know what’s on your credit report, both to see if it’s accurate and also to ensure that you are not victim to identity theft. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission released a study showing that 1 in 4 consumers found inaccuracies on their credit reports that could affect their credit scores.
You can access your free credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com . This site is the only official source for free credit reports, is secure and authorized by federal law. You can also call the hotline at 1-877-322-8228.
If you find inaccuracies on your credit report, it’s important to contact the credit reporting company in writing and explain the error. More information about how to dispute errors is found in this article .
Your FICO score is the number that credit bureaus calculate based on the information in your credit report. It will range between 300-850, with 850 being the perfect score. Unlike your credit report, the FICO score isn’t available for free. You can pay for it when you access your free annual credit report or at other third party sites like this.
If you’ve already received your one standard free credit report this year, there are other reasons why you may be entitled to one.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, “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 consumer 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.”