Order Free Credit Report
Get your free annual credit reports
By law, you can obtain one free report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. Order by any of these options:
- Request at the only officially authorized site to provide all three credit reports: AnnualCreditReport.com
- Phone: 877-322-8228
- Mail the request letter (from Web site) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
- Contact the "Big 3" credit bureaus and order individually:
You will need your name, address, Social Security number (SSN), and date of birth, and you may need to provide some details to verify that it is you making the request.
Tip: Stagger free Credit Reports throughout the year
As soon as you become eligible for a free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, spread requests for those freebies out over the year. Instead of ordering all three at once, order one, for example, from Equifax in January, one from Experian in May, and one from TransUnion in September. This will help you monitor your reports for signs of identity theft or fraud year round.
What to do when you get your Credit Report
Check the basics first
Are your name, SSN, birth date, and address correct?
Verify the information for each mortgage, loan, credit card
Some of this information can get complicated. If a loan is sold, the lender listed may not be the same as the original. Check outstanding balances, credit limits, dates when the credit was obtained, and whether accounts were closed and who closed them. Look at unfavorable information such as late payments or collection accounts and make sure the data are correct.
Look for all types of errors and omissions
If there are problems in the reports, they can be large or small. It can be accounts that are duplicated, a lien after a bill has been paid, or different names, SSNs, addresses, or accounts you don't recognize.
Contact the company that has provided the incorrect information as well as the credit reporting agency to correct.
Dispute incomplete or inaccurate information
Contact the company that provided the incorrect information as well as the credit bureau. Do everything in writing and keep copies. Working with both the source of the information and the credit bureau can help ensure the issue is resolved quickly. Once a dispute is received, the credit bureau is required to investigate the claim. Any resulting change to your credit report after the investigation requires that you be notified and provided with a free copy of your revised credit report. The 30- to 45-day period allows time to mail documentation back and forth if necessary. The results of an investigation generally will be reported within 30 days. However, the time period can take up to 45 days if the consumer provides additional documentation supporting removal of the disputed item.
For help understanding your credit report: