How to Obtain a Free Credit Report
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), know as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT), requires the three national credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union – to provide consumers, at their request, with a free copy of their credit report every 12 months.
The annual free reports are available only through the centralized source set up by the three credit reporting agencies. If consumers contact the companies directly they will still be charged for their credit reports.
To obtain the free reports, consumers can:
- Call 1-877-322-8228
- Order online at www.annualcreditreport.com ; or
- Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form, available at www.ftc.gov/credit , and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Additional Free Reports for:
Victims of Identity Theft:
In addition to the free reports available each year, consumers are entitled to a free report from each of the agencies if they believe they have become the victim of identity theft.
To receive the free report in these circumstances, victims should contact each reporting agency directly and be prepared to provide a copy of a police report.
When an Application for Credit is Denied:
Consumers also are entitled to a free credit report if their applications for credit have been denied based on information provided by a reporting agency. On these occasions, consumers must contact the reporting agencies directly and make their requests within 30 days after the application for credit was denied.
Consumers also should be aware that www.annualcreditreport.com and the national credit reporting companies will never send consumers e-mails asking for personal or financial information. Any e-mail that claims to be from one of these agencies should be considered a scam.