28 Aug Looking To Obtain A FREE Copy Of Your Credit Report? Here’s How!
Obtaining Your Credit Report
You can get your credit report for free. No, there’s no gimmick. There’s a law requiring the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) to give you a free copy each year. However, as you learn more about credit scores you’ll understand that getting one copy a year is not going to be enough to keep you fully abreast of your credit report activity. Your score is a living breathing thing that changes daily.
Why all three? A lender working with you might only send their report regarding your credit to one bureau. That means all three reports won’t always match. If you apply for a mortgage, a bank will look at your average credit score from all three agencies. If there are errors on one report, it can pull down your overall score.
How do you get the free reports? By phone, by mail, or online. You can call (877) 322-8228 toll-free to start the process or request the mail-in form. The fastest way to get your report is online.
There is a secure site to obtain your credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Always double-check the website address, because there are look alike sites that can trick you. Those sites want to steal your private information and sell their products.
When you visit the official website, you’ll need to provide your name, Social Security Number, and address (they may ask for a previous address if you moved recently). They might ask you a question about one of your accounts; ex: have you made monthly payments of $200 on your car loan? Those questions are present to verify your identity.
Once you’ve given the information they ask for, you’ll only wait a few seconds for your report. You can view it, print it, and/or download it as a file to your computer. You can choose all three reports at once or just one at a time. The free offer only works for one report from each bureau per year, but you can spread the requests out over the year.
When you review your report, check carefully for errors. If the report is not correct, you can dispute the errors. This requires contacting the lender and the credit bureaus with evidence that your credit report is wrong. It can be a hassle and take time to resolve; they are picky about what they’ll address. Ask for too much at once and they may even ignore you.
While these free methods for obtaining your credit reports are a good starting point, you will probably want to consider a monthly credit monitoring service. You might think this is unnecessary, but having a credit monitoring service will provide you with an updated credit report (monthly), and most will alert you if there is unusual or suspicious behaviour happening with your credit scores (i.e. someone steals your identity and opens 5 new tradelines). There’s lots of options out there, but it’s important to choose one that’s affordable, but also pulls all three Bureaus.
Call one of our credit consultants today so we can discuss options for helping to improve your credit profile! (844) 967-3724