A credit report gathers all the details of your credit accounts, account history, related companies, debts and payments on a single record. If you are wondering why is it so important then you need to know that this report decides whether creditors or lenders will do business with you or not.
In addition to this it will help determine what terms they will offer you and what rewards you can make use of when it comes to credit cards.
This is why it is always recommended to keep a check on your credit report whenever possible. Does that sound costly? No worries! You can always ask for a copy of free credit report from different reporting agencies. Here’s how it works and how you can make the best use of this opportunity.
What Is Free Credit Report?
There is a lot in life that you would need to empty your pockets for. A credit report should not be one of them. It is always advisable to check your record multiple times in a year.
But, wouldn’t that get expensive? If you find yourself prioritizing money over credit report or worrying about the hefty price tags, it’s time you take a breath of relief.
The solution to this problem is just around the corner as many agencies are giving you a chance to apply for the credit report for FREE.
Did you know? “You can use more than one free credit report service at a time for a comprehensive look at your credit across all three major credit bureaus. This means you can apply with each one of them for a free credit report once a year at different times to keep a better check.”
How To Get Your Credit Report For Free
Keep in mind that if you are applying for it online, any reliable site will not ask for unnecessary personal information. This includes credit card details, etc. Make sure you are using a safe website and remember to go through their terms and policies before starting the sign-up and application process.
All the 3 major credit reporting agencies compile a report for you that you can access for free once every year. You can order a free FCRA credit report or a state credit report directly for the bureaus by visiting their official pages online:
What are your other options. If you are looking for a single platform that will let you access the report for free, the best choice you have is:
Free Credit Report By AnnualCreditReport.com
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act was passed in 2003. It highlighted that every customer has a right to an accurate and free credit report once in a year from each of the major credit bureaus.
However, you need to follow a specific protocol for application in order to receive the annual credit report. You can do by 3 methods:
- Visiting the official website AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Calling the toll-free number 877-322-8228.
- Getting the request form, filling it out by hand and mailing it to the address given on the form.
It i the only website that offers access to free credit reports from all the 3 major reporting agencies. Moreover, the reports are available in both, soft and hard copy.
You can choose to download the PDF or request the report to be mailed to you. If you have a long credit history or multiple accounts, be ready to receive a dozens of pages. Also keep in mind that the credit score will not be part of the report sent to you by the AnnualCreditReport.com.
Other Websites That Offer Free Credit Report
There are a number of websites that are now offering free credit report atleast once. These sites will not ask you for your credit card details or force you to go through trial subscription. However, you need to register with the sites online to get your copy.
1. Credit Karma
Credit Karma was launched in 2006 and since then it has helped customers get their credit reports for free. Through this platform, you can access your report from two major credit bureaus namely Equifax and TransUnion. However, you need to create an account here.
Then you can log in any time to view essential details. You can also make use of their mobile app for handy use. Your financial information will updated on weekly basis along with information on different factor that are impacting your credit score.
Free credit report by:
NerdWallet updates your account and report details every week and allows easy signing up online to check your information whenever you want to. The best part? In addition to the FICO score on your report, you can also view the VantageScore 3.0 on the TransUnion report.
You need to provide the last 4 digits of your social security number to complete the registration process. NerdWallet also offers mobile app to make the monitoring even more easy.
Free credit report by:
BankRate has been famous for their free credit reports as it has a unique and easy-to-grasp lay out for many users. One of the most interesting feature is that it lays down the report details in chronological order to show how your finances have changed over a span of time.
This can help the customers see what factors have affected their score and to make the required improvements. BankRate also offers free analysis of credit score to help you understand the financial habits you need to work on.
Free credit report by:
Weekly and monthly details only? It’s time you upgrade with WalletHub. This amazing platform will keep you posted on recent advancements and changes on your credit information on daily basis.
Moreover, it will provide you with personalized credit advice that can help you improve the on-going financial situation. You can also view the credit score for free. There is no need to provide the credit card details or any other form of unnecessary personal information.
Free credit report by:
5. Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame also provide a free credit report as well as a summary of all the factors that are affecting your credit score. You need to sign up after creating an account.
This will let you receive a monthly update on your credit information. The Credit Sesame mobile app is also available in case you need to review your report or score any time.
Free credit report by:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it important to keep a check on the credit report?
Ans. We are all just humans and so are the people working in different bureaus and compiling your report. The bottom line is, mistakes happen and they can affect your credit score. In the long run, this will dampen your chances of approval for better interest rates or credit cards. Therefore, it is always recommended to check your credit report multiple times in a year and report any error by filing for a dispute.
2. Is it possible to get a free credit report besides the one offered by FCRA?
Ans. It is possible to request an additional free copy of your report but you can do only under certain circumstances. These include:
- You are planning on applying for a job within 2 months.
- You are on Welfare or have been a target of identity theft.
- There is an inaccurate piece of information on your credit report.
- You have been denied a credit card, account, loan or other application based on your credit report details. In this case you can request for a free copy within 60 days.
3. How long will it take to get my free credit report?
Ans. You should be able to access your report immediately if you have applied for it online at AnnualCreditReport.com. However, if your mode of application was through call or via mail, then it might take the report up to 2 weeks to reach you. In case the reporting company feels the need to request more details to confirm your identity, the report delivery may further be delayed.
People Are Also Asking
4. Is it necessary to obtain the reports from all the 3 major credit reporting agencies?
Ans. It is not necessary but there is no harm in doing so. This is because the three bureaus obtain information from different sources and the reports from each can reflect data from completely different companies. It is also advisable that you should request for your credit reports are different times. Spacing it out can prove to be a good way for keeping an eye on the accuracy of the report throughout the year.
5. Will the details of bankruptcy or other negative information stay on the credit report forever?
Ans. The duration for which a negative information stays on your report depends on its nature. Most details remain there for 7 years whereas bankruptcy information in kept on the report for 10 years. However, If the crime was as serious as a conviction then there is no limit on how long it will stay there.
6. Can anybody else get a copy of my credit report?
Ans. According to the rules and regulations set up by FCRA credit card issuers, banks, lenders, potential employers and other such businesses can access your credit report. They may or may not need your permission to do so. This depends on whether they will be carrying out a hard or a soft inquiry.
The Bottom Line
Keeping a check on your credit report is must if you don’t want to miss out any financial habit that might be affecting your credit score. It is also a good habit as it will let you stay up to date with pending debts and payments that you need to get rid off as soon as possible.
Making the best use of free credit report can be a good chance of fixing a poor score or highlighting any error that has been made while drawing the record.
Above all, you are not spending a penny, so what’s the harm? Get your free credit report today from any of the reliable websites mentioned above!