How to Get a Free Credit Report

As a consumer, you are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report once every twelve months from each of the credit reporting companies, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The easiest method is to go on the internet to annualcreditreport.com. You may also call 1-877-322-8228. To verify your identity to receive your free credit report, you will need to provide your name, Social Security number, your address, and your birth date.

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What is the Best Website to Get My Free Credit Report?

The best and only authorized website to get your free credit report is annualcreditreport.com. Receiving your free credit report has been made possible by the Fair Credit Reporting Act or “FCRA”. It requires each of the credit report companies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – to provide you with one report each year, upon your request.

How Do I Order My Free Credit Report?

There are currently three methods to obtaining your free credit report. They are as follows:

  1. First, you may go directly to the website at annualcreditreport.com and request the credit report from each of the reporting agencies.
  2. Secondly, you may call 1-877-322-8228 to request your report.
  3. Finally, you may download and complete the form to request your report directly from the website and then mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

As a side note, do not contact the credit reporting agencies on an individual basis. You must follow one of the steps above to obtain this report.

Are There Scam Websites That Offer Free Credit Reports?

Yes, there are what is called “imposter” websites that claim to offer free credit reports. These are not part of the legally mandated program. In many instances, these websites may require you to enter in your financial information and become legally bound by a trial period. If you fail to cancel prior to the trial’s completion, they may charge you unnecessary fees.

Scammers may attempt to set up websites that are designed to encourage you to enter in personal information. They may then use this information in a fraudulent manner. If you receive any text messages, emails, or phone calls from individuals claiming they are part of annualcreditreport.com, do not click any links or provide any information as this program will never require this of you and it is probably a scammer.

What Information is Required to Receive My Free Credit Report?

To receive your free credit report, you will need to provide certain pieces of information to verify your identity. This includes name, date of birth, address, and Social Security number. If you have relocated within the past two years of the request, you may be required to provide your previous address. In order to ensure the complete security of your file, you may have to give information that the company only expects you should know. One example of this is being asked how much you pay on your mortgage.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Free Credit Report Once I Order it?

When you receive your free credit report depends on how you order it. If you order it directly at the website, access is typically granted immediately. If you call the previously-mentioned phone number, it will be mailed directly to you. You should receive it within 15 days. If you mail your request, it will be processed and put in the mail to you within 15 days of receiving your receipt. If the program requires additional information to successfully verify your identity, it may take longer to process your request, regardless of your ordering method.

Is it Possible to Buy a Copy of My Credit Report if I Already Received My Free Report?

Yes, you may purchase your credit report. If buying from TransUnion, call 1-800-916-8800. If buying from Equifax, call 1-800-685-1111. If buying from Experian, you may call 1-888-397-3742. In most instances, one free credit report a year is sufficient; however, there are instances where situations arise and you may need an additional inquiry.

Professional Examining Credit Report

Why Should I Get a Free Copy of My Credit Report?

There are several reasons why you should obtain a free credit report each year. You should make sure all of the information contained in the report is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. You may evaluate the information to successfully protect yourself from identity theft. You will need to review all information to ensure it reflects the correct information.

Is Anyone Else Able to Get a Copy of My Credit Report?

Yes, other entities are capable of getting a copy of your credit report. These include creditors, employers, insurers, and various other types of businesses that wish to evaluate your credit for the purpose or intent of issuing credit, employment, insurance, or obtaining a rental.

Other Situations Where I Qualify for a Free Credit Report

If a company decides to take action against you, you may request a credit report within 60 days of receiving the notice of the action. If you are unemployed and you are planning to seek employment within 60 days, you may get a report. If you are on government assistance, have an inaccuracy in your credit report, or have been subjected to identity theft, you may obtain a copy of your free credit report. If you have already received your free credit report for the year or after one of the previously-outlined instances, you may purchase another copy of your credit report if it is necessary.

Why Are There Differences Between the Credit Reports from the Different Credit Agencies?

Each of the three major credit reporting agencies within the United States receive the information that they have on you from different sources. While some information may be the same with all, there may be different information in each.

If you would like more information on your annual free credit report or suggestions on how to dispute information or on improving your credit score, you may contact us here at Somerville Bank by contacting one of our branches today: https://somervillebank.net/contacts/