Every 12 months you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (also called credit bureaus). If you need another copy from Equifax, Experian, or Transunion within that 12-month period, you can pay a small fee for it.
Getting Free Credit Reports
To get your free annual report from the three big credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion), contact www.annualcreditreport.com.
In certain situations, you can get an additional free report within the 12- month period. To learn when, see Getting Additional Free Credit Reports.
Paying for Additional Credit Reports
There are so many ways to get copies of your credit reports for free, you will probably never need to buy a copy. But if you do need another copy -- or if you don’t qualify for a free copy -- you’ll have to pay about $1 to $11 to get a credit report from one of the nationwide credit reporting agencies.
Be Wary When Paying for Credit Reports
Many websites hide the charge for ordering one credit report and advertise a low cost or a free copy with a 30-day or longer trial membership for one of their services, such as credit monitoring. If you don’t want the service, be sure to cancel it within the 30 days to avoid a monthly fee. You should receive your credit report in a week to ten days.
How to Pay for Additional Credit Reports
To order additional credit reports after you’ve gotten your free annual report from the Annual Credit Report Service, you must contact the credit reporting agency directly. You can do so:
- Online. The credit reporting agencies encourage people to order reports from their websites. (See contact information below.)
- By mail. If you choose to order your report by mail, you can use Nolo’s Letter to Request Credit Report. You can also find a copy of this letter in Nolo’s Credit Repair, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard.
- By phone. (See contact information below).
You will have to provide some personal information so the credit reporting agency can identify you.
Contact Information for Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
To contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies directly (to pay for additional reports):
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
This is an excerpt from Credit Repair, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard (Nolo).