Americans can request as many as three free credit reports per year from each of the major agencies (also known as bureaus): Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. They are not automatically delivered to you. Rather, you’ll need to request your reports in one of the following three ways:
- Visit Annualcreditreport.com which is the only authorized source for consumers to access their annual credit report online for free. Don’t be fooled by other websites, as they will charge you a fee.
- Call 1-877-322-8228, and follow the prompts to request your report.
- Fill-out the “Annual Credit Report Request” form, provided by the Federal Trade Commission, and mail to Annual Credit Report Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5281.
You can order all 3 reports at the same time, or you can vary your requests throughout the year. Be aware that credit bureaus charge a fee if you request a report directly from them. Therefore, we suggest ordering from an independent third party, as they will produce and deliver your report for free.
Other Ways to Get Free Credit Report
In addition to the methods described above, there are other scenarios where you can get a free report. They are when you’re:
- Denied a loan, insurance policy, or job based on credit report;
- Applying for unemployment or receiving public assistance; or
- Residing in a state that allows one or more free annual credit reports.
Scores Typically Not Included
Scores, which take the information from the report and distills it into a three digit number, are not included in your free report. The only way to receive your score is by purchasing it directly from the bureaus. However, Hanley Law provides this service for our clients. We have access to a source that compiles credit scores from all three of the major credit reporting agencies, and use it when helping clients achieve debt relief.