All three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion – can provide you with a free copy of your credit report.
There is no need you should ever have to pay for a credit report, but it is important that you review your credit report once a year for inaccuracies.
Visit annualcreditreport.com and you can receive your free credit report to review for accuracy from all three credit reporting agencies. You will not receive your credit score and most reporting agencies charge a fee to receive a credit score. However the most important piece of your credit is the reporting information, not the score.
How To Review Your Free Credit Report
- About You
All of your identifying information like name, address, social security number, date of birth, any aliases, etc will be listed in this section.
- Credit History
This will show a detailed history of the accounts you have open, the account balance, the account limits, the payment history, the account status. If you’ve closed an account, be sure that it is reported correctly.
- Public Records
This section will show anything that has been filed in the public record like a bankruptcy, tax lien, or judgement.
- Credit Inquiries
Any company who has ever requested to review your credit report will be listed here. Soft inquiries are those that checked your credit in order to “pre-qualify” you for a marketing offer like a credit card. Hard inquiries are made when you fill out an application for credit like a car loan or mortgage or credit card.
At least once a year you should visit this site and pull your credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. You could also pull just one report from 1 bureau now, another report a few months from now, and the third report later on in the year. This way you’re monitoring your credit year round.
It’s important to remember that your credit score is not an indication of how well you’re doing financially. Your credit report is a summary of how you have managed debt repayment. Reviewing your report regularly is just to make sure the information the major credit bureaus have accurate information and give you an opportunity to correct any mistakes.