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Since the government made it mandatory for the three credit bureaus to provide every American citizen with a free credit report once in a year on request, getting my free credit report wasn’t a difficult task anymore. The procedure itself is very simple. There are three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These three credit bureaus are responsible for preparing the credit report.
To get free credit report, the first thing I did was placing my order via phone. However, you can do so via mail or online at the official website, annualcreditreport.com as well. To order by phone, the numbers to call are:
Equifax – 800-685-1111
Experian – 888-EXPERIAN
TransUnion – 800-888-4213
Once the order was placed via phone or mail, it takes approximately 15 days for the credit report to reach the consumer. Placing the order online is the fastest way to gain access, where the credit report is available for checking on answering a few personal questions.
Though the my free credit report is available only once in a year, I got to know about some other ways too in which I can get the report:
In case of being denied credit or loans, I can ask for a copy of my free credit report
If there has been an identity theft, a free credit report will be made available to me
If I am on welfare, I can get a free credit report
If I am unemployed and propose to get a job within the next 60 days, a copy of the free credit report will be provided on giving a written declaration
Apart from the major credit bureaus, many companies offer to provide the consumer with a free credit report on signing up with them. The signing up is for a trial period ranging from 7 days to 30 days. The trial offer is usually for a package of credit report, credit score, credit monitoring and Identity theft alert. The subscription can be cancelled in case of dissatisfaction with the services.
Once the free credit report has been accessed, it is essential to check it for errors and indications for identity theft. It is also essential to check the financial status and balances, to ensure that my credit rating is good and that I won’t be turned down for a loan when I apply for one. While the credit report is free, it does not contain the credit score.