Obtaining A Free Copy Of Your Credit Report

Obtaining A Free Copy Of Your Credit Report

October 16, 2012         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Improving your credit profile starts with determining what is on your credit report and your actual credit score. There are dozens of websites that heavily advertise “free” credit reports, but they are typically only free if you sign up for their monthly credit monitoring services.

Here are three simple steps to obtaining a free copy of your credit report and making sure you review it properly:

1) Request Your Free Credit Report

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain your truly free credit report.  On this site, you can receive your free credit report from all three major reporting bureaus–TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. You do not have to sign up for any type of free trial. 

Government regulations permit you to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of these three major bureaus once every 12 months, not every calendar year.  Our suggestion is to obtain your report from a different credit bureau every four months, so you see the information on an ongoing basis. Mark the date you received a certain report on your calendar so you can obtain the report from that credit bureau every year thereafter.

2) Verify Your Information & Identity

You will need to verify your identity in order to receive your free credit report. You will have to enter basic information such as your name, address, social security number, and other personal information. Then, you’ll be required to answer questions pertaining to your identity and your past, such as vehicles you have owned, banks you have done business with and places you have lived. These safeguards will ensure your proper identity. 

If you’ve changed your name recently, moved, or have no credit history, you may end up answering the questions improperly and asked to verify your identity before receiving your report.  In these cases, you should contact the credit bureau directly to verify your identity. In these cases, there may be a delay in receiving your free credit report.

3) Retain & Review Your Free Credit Report

Once you’ve gained access to your report, it’s important to print it out and store it for safe keeping.  We recommend keeping your report for at least two years in case any problems arise down the road.

Beyond storing your report, make sure you carefully review it. Look for inaccurate information, entries that should not be there, or any other anomalies in the data.  If you spot a problem, be sure to report it immediately to get it removed and fix your credit.

It is important to monitor your credit report closely every year to make sure everything is accurate and to stay on top of your credit profile.

This entry was posted in Consumer Tips and tagged No tags added

The information contained within this article was accurate as of October 16, 2012. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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lynn-oldshue

About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.