Generate Your Credit Report Online
You can save reports to your desktop or print them out so youll have access later.
If you need to request a report or reports by mail, send a request form to:
Annual Credit Report Request ServiceP.O. Box 105281Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Your report or reports should be sent within 15 business days.
You can also get your credit reports by calling 877-322-8228. Visually impaired consumers can also call this number to request audio, large-print or Braille reports.
How To Pull A Free Annual Credit Report
by Christy Bieber | Updated Sept. 17, 2021 – First published on Dec. 26, 2018
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. Its how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts opinions arent influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Checking your credit is important. You want to keep tabs on your credit report so you can catch mistakes if inaccurate information finds its way onto your record. You can also track your debt repayment efforts and can make sure you aren’t a victim of identity theft by watching for accounts you don’t recognize or inquiries from creditors when you didn’t apply for a loan.
Unfortunately, many people don’t check their credit at all, or do so rarely. This is a major mistake, especially when checking your credit is both free and easy since every American is entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Not sure how to pull your free annual credit report? This guide will help you to understand exactly how to pull a free annual credit report so you can check your credit without incurring any costs.
Why Its Important To Check Your Credit Report
Checking your credit report is important, whether youre building or simply maintaining good credit. By checking your report at regular intervals, youll know exactly where your debt currently stands and can check to make sure all three credit bureaus are reporting information correctly. Errors are not unheard of. In fact, the FTC has found one in five people find an error on their credit reports at least once in their lifetime.
Checking your credit report is also an essential step in protecting yourself from identity theft. If someone is out there applying for an account in your name, the earliest sign will show up on your credit report as an inquiry, says Bruce McClary, vice president of communications at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The key to shutting down credit fraud or identity theft is to respond as quickly as possible.
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How Should I Report That Someone Has Died
When someone dies, a family member or an appropriate person such as an executor should send a notice letter to one of the three credit reporting companies and request that they update the credit record to indicate that the person is deceased. The credit reporting company will then share that information with the othertwo credit reporting companies so that they can update their records.
The letter should include the following information about the deceased:
- Legal Name
Who We Share Information With
We may share any of the information collected from or about you, as described above, with any of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.
We may also disclose any of the information we collect to companies related to one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies through common ownership or control.
We may also disclose the information to one of the companies that we hire to help us collect and maintain your information, for example, our website hosting providers.
Other companies may get access to your information because they help us process your requests for free credit reports or other services, for example, the company that hosts this website.
We may disclose any of the information collected in response to a valid legal process, such as a lawfully issued subpoena, search warrant, regulatory investigation or inquiry, or court order.
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How Do You Check Your Credit Report
On AnnualCreditReport.com you are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. These agencies include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing financial hardships. To remain in control of your finances, you can get free credit reports every week through April 2022.
Request all three reports at once or one at a time. Learn about other situations when you can request a free credit report.
Request Your Free Credit Report:
By Mail: Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If Your Request for a Free Credit Report is Denied:
Contact the CRA directly to try to resolve the issue. The CRA should tell you the reason they denied your request and explain what to do next. Often, you will only need to provide information that was missing or incorrect on your application for a free credit report.
If you can’t resolve your dispute with the CRA, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau .
What Can Lenders See On Your Credit Report
Your creditreport provides a detailed summary of your credit history. It includes your personal information and lists details on your past and current credit accounts. It also documents each time you or a lender requests your credit report, as well as instances where your accounts have been passed on to a collection agency. Financial issues that are part of the public record, such as bankruptcies and foreclosures, are included, too.
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Enter Your Personal Information
Once youre on the correct website, click on the button near the top of the page or bottom left that says, Request your free credit reports. Afterward, click on the button with the same words below the line that reads, Fill out a form. Finally, complete the form by entering your name, birthdate, current address and Social Security number .
If you havent lived at your current address for at least two years, youll have to enter your previous address, too.
Why You Should Get A Free Annual Credit Report
Looking at your credit report can also help you identify fraud and identity theft on your account. Your credit report lists all the current loans and accounts you have open. If you see an account on your credit report that you dont remember opening, theres a good chance youre a victim of identity theft. You can close these unauthorized accounts sooner if youre paying attention. This helps you minimize the damage done to your credit score.
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How To Get Free Credit Reports From Each Of The Three Credit Bureaus
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the three credit bureaus to provide consumers with one free credit report per year. Federal law also entitles consumers to receive free credit reports if any company has taken adverse action against them. This includes denial of credit, insurance or employment, as well as other reports from collection agencies or judgments. But consumers must request the report within 60 days from the date the adverse action occurred.
In addition, consumers who are on welfare, unemployed people who plan to look for a job within 60 days and victims of identity theft are also entitled to a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus.
How Do I Order My Free Annual Credit Reports
The three national credit bureaus have a centralized website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address so you can order your free annual reports in one place. Do not contact the three national credit bureaus individually. These are the only ways to order your free credit reports:
- complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
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Why Don’t My Free Credit Reports Include Credit Scores
Your credit report and your credit score are not the same thing. Your credit report contains information that a credit reporting company has received about you. Your credit score is calculated by plugging the information in your credit report into a credit score formula. You may have multiple credit scores based upon who provided the score, and whether the company providing the score used their own scoring model or used a model available from a third party.
Federal law gives you the right to ask for a copy of your credit report from each nationwide credit reporting company every year for free. However, the law does not require the credit reporting companies to provide a free credit score.
Checking And Understanding Your Credit Score Just Got Easier
There are no limits to how often you can check your credit score. The CreditView Dashboard gives you the power to:
View your score anytime.
Your score1 is updated once per month upon log in and checking it will not affect the score.
Use the Score Simulator.
This tool estimates what your score could be if you make certain changes.
Review your progress.
Use the Score Trends Graph to view up to 12 months of your credit score history.
Access credit education.
Learn credit basics, how to raise your score and more.
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Pull And Review Reports Often
Now that you can pull your reports weekly, you can keep an excellent eye on your credit. This is a good thing, especially if youve recently set up payment arrangements or temporary forbearance. The CARES Act typically requires that your creditors report these accounts as current, so you need to make sure your efforts are paying off properly. If you do find mistakes on your credit reports, report them immediately to the reporting agency. To find out more about errors and mistakes on credit reports, go to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information page and read Disputing Errors on Credit Reports.
Were living in uncertain times job uncertainty, economic uncertainty, housing uncertainty, etc. All that uncertainty can make for anxiety and an overall gloomy outlook if you let it. One way to combat the uncertainty blues is by taking control of the few things that you can. While youre not completely in control of your credit, you can monitor it to ensure that things are reported correctly and that no one is affecting your credit but you. Taking control of your credit feels good, trust us, youll rest easier knowing what youre dealing with.
Youll Have More Good Mortgage Options From Lenders
If youre looking to refinance your home, knowing your credit score and working to improve it will allow you to gain access to better mortgage rates, meaning you could save money and pay off your debt faster. Lenders will be more willing to provide good mortgage options that will include lower interest rates.
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Catch Credit Report Errors
Its important to make sure that no items are being reported incorrectly and that all debts and accounts actually belong to you. You could, for example, discover that youre still an authorized user on Moms credit card, which was set up ten years ago and was never closed. While that might have helped your credit then, it could be hurting it now.
Moreover, there may be inaccuracies on your report, such as if a closed credit card is reported as open or if your credit card limit is shown as lower than it actually is. like these can negatively impact your credit score, but can be fixed for free. If you dont periodically check your credit report, however, you wont know if any errors exist.
Review Your Report & Dispute Any Errors
Reading your credit report is one of the most vital steps when it comes to building credit and maintaining it. While reviewing your report, make sure your personal and account information is accurate.
Common credit reporting errors to look for include the following:
- Incorrect name or address
- Paid accounts that are listed as open
- Account balance or credit limit errors
- Accounts that dont belong to you
If you spot an error, dispute it with each credit bureau that lists it on your report or the creditor that reported it. The investigation will typically take 30 days to complete. Once its over, the credit bureau will remove the information if it finds that it is in fact an error.
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Youve Been Denied Credit
In the unhappy case that your business has been turned down for credit, you can get a free report from the credit bureau that the lender used to get the credit report on your business.
Once youve been denied, the credit bureau will send you a letter informing you. Youll be able to get a free credit report if you send that letter back within 90 days along with a request for your business credit report. While this report wont have the full information of a complete report, it should let you see your credit score and payment history from that credit bureau and offer you a better idea of why you didnt qualify.
Why Should I Get A Copy Of My Report
Getting your credit report can help protect your credit history from mistakes, errors, or signs of identity theft.
Check to be sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. Consider doing this at least once a year. Be sure to check before you apply for credit, a loan, insurance, or a job. If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact the credit bureaus and the business that supplied the information to get the mistakes removed from your report.
Check to help spot identity theft. Mistakes on your credit report might be a sign of identity theft. Once identity thieves steal your personal information information like, your name, date of birth, address, credit card or bank account, Social Security, or medical insurance account numbers they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, get new credit cards in your name, open a phone, cable, or other utility account in your name, steal your tax refund, use your health insurance to get medical care, or pretend to be you if they are arrested.
Identity theft can damage your credit with unpaid bills and past due accounts. If you think someone might be misusing your personal information, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report it and get a personalized recovery plan.
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How Many Free Credit Reports Can You Get Per Year
The number of credit reports you can get for free depends on where you get them from and whether youve placed a fraud alert on your credit reports.
For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to receive one free credit report from each major credit bureau a year. In most cases, this means you can view all your credit reports for free once per year through AnnualCreditReport.com. However, due to Covid, you can receive free weekly credit reports from all three credit bureaus through AnnualCreditReport.com until April 20, 2022.
In addition, some credit reporting companies and personal finance websites allow you to check one or more of your reports for free. For example, if you sign up for myEquifax, you can get six free Equifax credit reports per year through 2026. Experian also allows you to view your Experian credit report for free 12 times a year.
You can also get an additional free copy of your report from each credit bureau if you suspect fraud and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. To do this, you must contact one of the credit bureaus.
If youve been a victim of identity theft and filed a report, you can get an additional six free credit reports per year, two from each credit bureau.
Beware Of Imposter Sites
The only website you should be using to request a free credit report is annualcreditreport.com.
Unfortunately, some consumers mistakenly visit other websites that show up in online search results. Many of these sites will advertise a free credit report, but later try to upsell you on their paid service or even mislead you into signing up for a subscription.
One example was freecreditreport.com, a website owned by Experian that was forced to settle with the FTC in 2005 for failing to adequately disclose that consumers would be signed up for a $79.95 annual membership. The website still exists and can grant you access to your Experian report for free, but not Equifax or TransUnion. A statement from Experian says freecreditreport.com was created nearly five years before free annual credit reports became required by law and is not represented in any way as a replacement, substitute or alternative to the federally mandated free credit report website.
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Why Is It Important To Check My Credit Report
Its important to check your credit report because credit reporting mistakes happen. They can be the result of a creditor reporting inaccurate information or a sign of identity theft. If the error lowers your , it can decrease your approval odds when applying for a loan and it could prevent you from securing the best rate.