Yes, it is true: free credit reports are available for you, the consumer. Thanks to an act of Congress, you can get copies of your credit reports annually. This means that Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union – the Big 3 credit reporting agencies – must furnish one free copy of your credit report to you every year. No, you can’t get your free credit reports sent to you automatically: you must take action. Let’s take a look at how you can get copies of your credit reports sent to you today.
Annual Credit Report – By visiting AnnualCreditReport.com you can sign up through the government approved site that will give to you your free credit reports. Each of the three credit reporting companies is listed therein, so select one and provide your personal information to the company of your choosing. Once your information has been verified, a report will be generated for your review. Take a close look at it: if there are errors you need to follow the company’s procedures for contesting mistakes.
Your Credit Score – Not included with your free credit reports but available for a small fee at the same time is your credit score. This is the score whereby members of the credit industry rate your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the better for you and the lower your borrowing rates will be.
Competing Sites – Some consumers prefer to pay for what otherwise are free credit reports. By signing up with companies who offer this service, you can automatically have your credit reports run and sent to you on a periodic basis. Again, you will pay a fee for something you can get for free. In any case, you will pay for your credit score no matter whose service you use.
As with any report, check your free credit reports for errors. Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax all have procedures listed outlining how you can challenge errors. Make certain that you follow their directions to have wrong information expunged from your report. It could save you money on your next credit card loan, car loan, or home mortgage.
Certainly, there aren’t many things that are absolutely free in this life. Congress has seen fit that free credit reports are offered to American consumers in all 50 states. Run each report at least once annually and check it for mistakes as they commonly occur. Who knows, but those free credit reports could reveal identity theft issues too saving you much grief and aggravation if caught in a timely fashion.