How and Where to Get Your Free Annual Credit Reports

Checking your credit report is an important step to ensure that your account activities are accurately reported. There are three major main credit bureaus that collect credit information for consumers –Experian, Equifax, TransUnion. Each bureau operates independently and this is why it’s important to check your report from all three sources.

The bureaus gather financial information from banks, creditors, lending companies, and financial organizations. However, take note that not all creditors report to the bureaus. If you will take out a loan from a lender that does not report your payments to a credit bureau, your activities will not be included in your credit report. It’s important to make sure that your chosen lender reports to a major credit bureau to build credit history and credit score.

Consumers are entitled to receive their annual credit report for free as stated in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). But where can you get your free report? You can request for your free report by visiting Take note that this is the only resource authorized by the government to offer free consumers credit reports. is a website created by the three major credit bureaus where consumers can request for their annual free report. You can request for all three copies of your credit reports at once, or get one copy from each bureau at different times of the year.

Watch out for other sources that offer free online credit reports. They may advertise free credit report and credit score but once you sign up, you may discover that you are required to pay for another service they offer for you to get your free report. You should also watch out against scammers who may set up fake websites that offer free online credit reports to steal information.

Other Ways to Access Free Credit Report

There are instances when you can access your credit report from the three major credit bureaus for free. For instance, if you have been denied credit within the last 60 days because of your personal credit history or if you suspect to be a victim of identity theft, you can get your free report straight from the credit bureaus. If you are presently unemployed and plan to look for work within the next 60 days, you are also entitled to a free report.

What if you want to check your report prior to submitting your loan application or credit card application? In this case, you can order a copy of your report from the three bureaus at a fee of $9 to $12, depending on the bureau.

Carefully check your report to make sure there are no errors. In case you discover incorrect items or unauthorized charges, you should send a letter to the bureau that issued your report immediately so your file can be updated. Keep in mind that erroneous information can pull down your credit score so it’s important to have those mistakes removed.


About the Author:

Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans.  Copyright © 2011

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