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Want to Know How to Get a Free Credit Report? It’s Simple!

How To Get A Free Credit Report Online

Credit is an important element in North American life, and everyone should know where their credit stands. Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission ensures that you have access to your credit report once a year. Each of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies is obligated to provide you a free annual credit report if you request it, so it’s easy to know how to get a free credit report.

The application process is fairly straightforward, though many people experience hassles, disappointment, and even identity theft. Learn how to get a free credit report, including where to go for your report, and what you can expect from the process.

Follow These Easy Steps

If you plan to apply for a loan or want to take some security measures to protect your identity, you’ll need to look over an updated credit report that lists your personal information and relevant financial history. Incorrect information can wind up costing you a job, a loan or even thousands of dollars in credit card bills from cards that were abused by identity thieves. If you wait too long to get your report, you may have to scramble to learn how to repair credit before any more harm can be done.

Begin by contacting one of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—through their central website, toll-free telephone number or shared mailing address. The Federal Trade Commission website can provide you with all of this information.

From there, you can choose whether you want to order from all three or just one of the agencies; you have the right to order from all three at once, if you’d like. You’ll need to provide personal information when you contact them to maintain the security of your file, but once you successfully answer their questions you’ll be able to access your report within 15 days, if not immediately.

What to Watch Out For

Your credit report contains important and sensitive information about your life, past and present. It will include information on where you live and how you pay your bills, as well as whether or not you’ve been arrested, sued or filed for bankruptcy. Obviously, this is information that should be kept confidential and used responsibly, so you should be wary of companies that claim to have or need your personal information to deliver your report.

The three nationwide reporting agencies are the only companies that are certified to give you your free online credit report. You’ll find that there are plenty of websites that promise a free instant credit report, but the only website that’s authorized to provide you with that is annualcreditreport.com.

While other sites may be able to offer you a report, there is likely a hidden fee that will kick in after a trial period. Some sites are exceptionally wily and will misspell “annualcreditreport.com,” with the hope that you’ll be fooled into believing they’re a legitimate site and give them important personal information. The safest way to get your free credit report online is to type the proper URL into your address bar instead of clicking on a link.