Getting Your Free Credit Report

Every 12 months you can get a free credit report from the three nationwide credit reporting agencies.

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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.)

Getting Your Free Credit Report From Experian, Equifax, or Transunion

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: 

  • online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com
  • by calling 877-322-8228, or
  • by mail at Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
You will have to provide certain information to prove your identity, such as your Social Security number and, say, the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

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.

Getting Additional Credit Reports

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.

by: , J.D.

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