It's always wise to check your credit report from the three national credit reporting agencies once each year, more in certain circumstances. Luckily, you can get a one free credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Here's how.
(To learn more about your credit report and the three national credit reporting agencies, see Credit Report Basics.)
You are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months, upon your request, from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. If you are married, you and your spouse can each obtain a free credit report from all three credit reporting agencies each year. Your reports will list all joint accounts (those you opened in both names). No combined report is created for married couples.
You can obtain your free reports:
You might want to order all three of your free credit reports at the same time so that you can compare them and spot discrepancies. Or, you can stagger your requests -- ordering one report every four months, for example -- so that you can check more frequently for suspicious activity (like identity theft) or errors.
If you dispute an error after getting your free report, and the CRA updates your report, you can get another free report withint the one-year period. (This feature was added by the CRAs in their new National Consumer Assistance Plan.)
In certain circumstances, you can get additional free credit reports. Or, you can pay for additional copies. To learn more, see our Credit Reports & Credit Scores topic area.