Fortunately, it's easy to obtain your Free Credit Report online, and it's extremely important that you do so. You need to check your Credit Reports from all three major Credit Reporting Agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) for accuracy. Any errors on any of these 3 reports can cost you greatly on your Credit Score which affects you when applying for credit and for some jobs. Unfortunately, I almost always find at least one error on one of my reports per year. It's not a perfect system. And sometimes it's not easy to get them to fix an error either. I've had a situation where even after providing proof of an error, the agency did not correct the error until after I went a step further and got the company that made the error to write a letter/email acknowledging their mistake.
If you’re not already getting your free Credit Report online from each of the 3 Nationwide Consumer Credit Reporting Companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), I’m am going to tell you where to get them. Under the FACT Act, you are entitled to receive your free credit report online or by mail from each of the credit reporting agencies once per year, and you should be doing so. Despite the clever commercials with singing and dancing people in costumes that you see on television claiming to provide you with a yearly free credit report, these sites have a catch. You have to sign up for a credit monitoring service that you will have to pay for. So much for free! Read my lips… THERE IS ONLY ONE LEGITIMATE SITE TO OBTAIN ALL 3 OF YOUR YEARLY FREE CREDIT REPORTS, and that site is…. (drum roll please),
AnnualCreditReport.com - You can request your yearly free Credit Reports online; or you can call 1-877-322-8228 and you will go through a verification process over the phone; or you can request your free credit reports by mail. Simply download the request form, print and complete the form, then mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
When you go to look at your Yearly Free Credit Reports online, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will offer to provide you with your Credit Score for a small fee. If you decide to pay for your Credit Score, you should know that most lendors typically use the FICO score that is provided by Equifax. Your Credit Score from each agency may differ slightly, because each report may not contain the exact same information, or one Agency may have updated payment information (say for a Mortgage or Credit Card), or have information about a new credit card that you've obtained, etc., sooner than the others.
If you applied for credit, employment, insurance, rental housing opportunity or government license or benefit and were denied based on information provided by a Credit Reporting Agency, and you receive a denial letter stating so; then under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. You must request your free copy within 60 days of the date on the denial notice.
I have provided the information that you will use to obtain your free credit file below. Should you decide to call, rather than request it online, you should realize that these are all likely automated systems. When they ask you if you want your Credit File and/or Credit Score, be certain to only request the Credit File/Disclosure, because they will charge you for your Credit Score and ask for credit card information. The only thing that is Free is your Credit File/Disclosure. Also, be certain to answer that you're requesting the credit file due to "denial," not the free annual FACT Act credit report that I mention in the first section of this page or other reason, because again, they may try to charge you for the report. Other than that, the phone call is pretty simple and brief.
If you were denied due to information provided by:
Call and request your Free Report at: 1-800-685-1111
Or visit Equifax and request your free credit report online
Call and request your Free Credit Report at: 1-866-200-6020
Or visit Experian and request your free credit report online
Call and request your Free Credit Report at:
Or visit TransUnion and request your free credit report online
There is one company, that I myself use, that will provide your TransUnion and Equifax Credit Reports and Credit Scores absolutely free, and they are CreditKarma. You do not need to provide any credit card information, and you do not need to sign up for anything. They are able to offer this free service due to advertising, and because, based on your credit information and scores, they are able to determine which credit offers (such as credit cards and loans) would be best for you and they "recommend" these offers to you. You can ignore them, or if you're looking for additional credit, or to consolidate, you can apply for one of the suggested/recommended offers. Unlike the free government credit reports mentioned above, CreditKarma provides you with free reports and scores updated monthly. I suggest that you make use of both resources.
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