How To Get A Free Copy of Your Credit Report
Nicole K. White, Esq.
Your credit report contains information that many businesses use to make a decision about you. This
includes banks, insurance companies, landlords, mortgage lenders, and even employers. It’s very
important that you know what’s in your credit report and that you correct any inaccuracies to
prevent negative effects on your financial health and welfare.
The recommended way to obtain a free copy of your credit report is through AnnualCreditReport.com,
which is the ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law.
AnnualCreditReport.com is very different from FreeCreditReport.com which you have probably seen
on television. Be wary of services that offer a trial membership or request your credit card number.
There are no hidden fees or trial memberships with AnnualCreditReport.com.
If you do not want to use the AnnualCreditReport.com request form, you can also write directly to the
credit bureaus to request a free copy of your credit report. With AnnualCreditReport.com or writing
directly to the credit bureaus, you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three
credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) once every 12 months. In addition to
AnnualCreditReport.com, there are 4 other ways you can get a free copy of your credit report.
1. You Were Denied Credit, Insurance, or Employment
Federal law also says you can get a credit report free if you have an application denied because of
information in your credit report. To get a free copy of your credit report, you must request your
credit report from the credit bureau within 60 days of learning you were denied. Contact the agency
who denied your application to learn which credit bureau furnished the credit report, and submit your
request for a free credit report to that credit bureau.
2. Unemployed and Looking For a Job
If you are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days, you can get a free copy of your credit
report. Contact the credit bureaus and let them know you are job hunting and you would like to
receive a free credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
3. Receive Government Assistance
If you are on welfare, you are entitled to receive a credit report free. Simply request your credit report
from the credit bureaus.
4. Victim of Identity Theft
You can also receive a free copy of your credit report if you are a victim of identity theft and have
inaccurate information on your credit report such as accounts that do not belong to you or addresses
where you have never lived.