Every year, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting companies. The website is annualcreditreport.com. Be sure that you are on the correct website. There may be other websites with similar addresses, including websites for companies that charge fees to provide you with credit reports or scores.
You do not have to ask for all 3 reports at once. There can be benefits to spreading your 3 requests out over the course of the year. That way, you can check a version of your credit report for free throughout the year, to see how it may change over time and keep an eye out for any errors
Keep in mind that the free credit report does not include a credit score.
1. Go online or call toll free
There are 2 ways to get your free annual copies of your credit report:
- Visit AnnualCreditReport.com, and fill out a form online; or
- Call 1-877-322-8228 toll free and ask for it over the phone.
2. Avoid scams
Be sure to avoid other web sites that say they give free credit reports but actually charge you for these reports. You should only get your free annual reports through AnnualCreditReport.com.
There are other circumstances that may allow you to get a credit report for free. For example, if you were turned down for credit based on information in a credit report, you're entitled to a free copy of that report. The lender must give you a notice in that situation telling you how to get the free report. If a credit score was used in that decision, you also must be given that score for free.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website for more information on Building a Better Credit Report.
Getting your credit score
For a fee, you can get your credit score and credit report from the "Big 3" nationwide credit bureaus. These bureaus are:
You can also pay to receive scores through Fair Isaac and Company (FICO), which creates mathematical formulas used by the Big 3 to calculate FICO scores.
And remember that if a credit score was used in a lender's decision to deny you credit or give you less favorable terms, you must be given that score for free.
Keep in mind that your score from one credit bureau may not be the same as your score from another, since each bureau collects its own data that is used to figure the score. And scores will change as your credit report is continually updated.
Note: As of July 1, 2017, the "Big 3" credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - do not report tax lien and civil judgment information, unless it has your Social Security Numberor birth date. Most judgments don't have this information. So these things may or may not appear on your credit report after that date, even if they previously did.
As of September 1, 2017, medical debt is not reported until 6 months has passed from the payment due date. This change gives you time to work with your insurance company to resolve any disputes before they can affect your credit record. If the insurance company pays the debt later, it won't appear on your credit report either. These changes should help decrease errors that affect your credit report.
Updated: July 2017