ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

Updated on March 1, 2013

Why You Should Check Your Credit Report

Checking your credit report periodically is crucial to your financial health. Even if you think you have a good credit score and don't plan on borrowing any money soon it's still a good idea to check it.

Why? Two reasons... first, it's very easy for financial institutions or the credit bureaus to make mistakes. You want to catch mistakes as soon as possible so you can keep your credit score in shape. In today's economy, credit is tight, so you want your credit score to be as high as possible, especially if you expect to be borrowing money any time soon.

Second, unfortunately, credit card fraud and identity theft are very common today. The sooner you catch fraud, the easier it will be to fight it.

This lens will show you how to get a free copy of your credit report, how to correct errors, what to do if you become a fraud victim, and much more...

How to Fix, Improve and Protect Your Credit Score

Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve, and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, 2nd Edition
Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve, and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, 2nd Edition

"A great credit score can help you finish rich! Liz Pulliam Weston gives solid, easy-to-understand advice about how to improve your credit fast. Read this book and prosper."


How To Get Your Free Credit Report

You can view your credit report for free at This report does not include your credit score but it can be purchased for $12.

There are actually three credit reporting agencies, and each of them is required to give you one free report per year. That means you can actually get 3 free credit reports each year, by requesting 1 report from each reporting agency. I suggest that you stagger these requests out over several months, rather than requesting from all 3 reporting agencies at once.

Important! is the ONLY legitimate website to request your free credit report.

There are many websites that offer a free credit report as part of a promotion, but you generally must sign up for a service to receive your credit report. These services can be much more costly than just purchasing your credit report, so proceed with caution if you sign up with any of these companies.

There are also a lot of scams out there. Be wary of companies that offer to fix your credit or erase your negative credit history. These are generally scams.

New! Get Your Credit Score Free at

I recently discovered a website called, where you can request your credit score (the actual 3-digit FICO score) for free.

I was concerned that there might be strings attached, so I had to check it out for myself.

The registration process was very quick and easy, and the application to retrieve your credit score was much easier than the process to request your credit report from one of the three reporting agencies.

Credit Karma does not provide a copy of your credit report. They provide your 3-digit FICO credit score only.

Immediately below your score are credit offers from partners of Credit Karma that are based on your credit score. These offers are how Credit Karma pays the bills, so they are necessary and may even be beneficial if you are looking to establish credit or make a purchase soon.

So, while you still need to check your actual credit report at least once a year (to check for fraud and/or errors), if you are just wanting to check up on your credit score, I recommend

Components of a FICO Credit Score

There are five key elements that comprise your FICO score: payment history, outstanding debts, credit history age, inquiries, and account types. Each of these items is given a different weight in the algorithm that determines your FICO score. Payment history is 35% of the score, outstanding debt is 30%, credit history age is 15%, and both inquiries and account types are 10% of your total FICO score.

Now you know what components are included in your credit score. What does each of these include? More importantly, what's considered good and what's bad for each component?

Payment History

Your payment history includes the details of how you've been paying your bills. That is, if you've been paying them at all. Each of your credit accounts reports your payments as on time or late. Late payments are reported as being 30-, 60-, 90-, and 120-days late. After six months of non-payment, many creditors charge-off your account, deeming it as an uncollectible account. The more recent the late payments are, the worse the effect it is on your credit score. Timely monthly payments boost your score in this area.

Outstanding Debts

This portion of your FICO score takes into account the total amount you owe on all your credit accounts. This includes credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, lines of credit, etc. Not only does the FICO score consider the total amount you owe, it also considers the total credit you have available. This ratio is known as your credit utilization. The higher your credit utilization - meaning the closer your balances are to the limit - the lower your credit score. You should keep credit account balances at or below 30% of the limit.

Credit History Age

The length of time that you have had credit is a determining factor of your FICO score. A longer credit history is better than a shorter one. This is because there is more data to create a pattern of good or bad payments.


Each time a business uses your FICO score to make a credit-based decision about you, an inquiry is made to a credit bureau. This inquiry then appears on your credit report. Multiple inquiries within a relatively short period of time have a negative effect on your FICO score, especially if these are credit card inquiries. Few to no inquiries is better. The good news is that only inquiries from the past two years are factored into your FICO score.

Account Types

When you have several different types of credit accounts - loans and revolving credit - it is better than having a single type of credit account.


EbizTaxTips is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or

What is Your Biggest Question about Credit Reports and Scores?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Lexington Law also provides a free credit report and analysis. It's helpful to have someone go through your credit report with you to explain what everything means and what can be done to improve your credit score.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The credit bureau matches the name, address and other identifying information on the credit applicant with information,how can i get free credit reports? is it safe in getting online credit reports?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      is it safe in were going to pass some of our information in credit bureau?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)