- Personal Finance»
- Managing Credit Cards & Payment Options
Credit Reports for free
Free Credit Reports.
Are you curious what your rating is? See these ads stating check your report? Is Free really free as in no strings attached? No gimmicks? Need to monitor your report or just to check it? There is a way, without filling out some employment form, or applying for a loan and getting rejected to seeing your Credit Report free. Also don't respond to those ADS unless they take you without fuss to www.annualcreditreport.com
Well there is a place and only one place you can truly get a free credit report. It's here https://www.annualcreditreport.com either manually enter this address or copy and past and go. It's VeriSign so your browser if equipped will identify this also. Note be care in spelling it out, there are phony sites out there to get your information or charge you.
Once at the site, you can request your credit report one of three ways:
1. Online directly through AnnualCreditReport.com/cra/order. Just pick your state. Press the green Go. Fill out a simple form, (they don't request any email address - note NO EMAIL address needed or requested). They state you won't receive any email directly from them. I filled the form out and not one was ever asked of me. That is a huge plus. +
2. By Phone: 1-877-322-8228 - They will take you through a simple verification process.
3. By Mail:
- Download the request form (Adobe viewer needed)
- Print it and fill it
- Mail the form to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
What is or Who is AnnualCreditReport.com
Well the picture to the right is their statement. Now further to that I would like to bring out some more details that you will also find on their site.
It was created by the three major credit report companies of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion as a centralized service for consumers. It provides you the consumer with the secure environment to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each nationwide consumer credit company. It was done in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).
Note from each, that means you can request one report for each company either all at once or individually spaced out over time (ie. as recommended by them and the state of Michigan every four months) = that is three reports.
To put it this way, request one from Eqifax, four months later TransUnion, and then four months later Experian. But note only one a year for each. That way you can monitor what is on your reports.
Further in their About Us:
They stress this:
- from FACT Act: never provide personal information to any other company or person requesting free annual credit reports. They (AnnualCreditReports are the only authorized company).
- They will not approach you via email, telemarketing or direct mail solications. (They didn't ask for my phone number either for the online application).
Some points gleaned from FAQ
Now some major points:
- Fraud Alerts, if your identity is stolen or that you may have been a victim of identity theft. Two types initial fraud alert (90 days) and extended alert (7 years).
- What is needed for a Fraud Alert, and contact numbers
- What is Credit Report: information maintained by a consumer reporting company that is provided to a third party ( loan companies usually).
- Where to request your credit report order
- Some states entitle you to a free Credit Report. IE Colorado, Georgia, Main, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.
- Allowed one Credit Report every 12 months from each company, but can you either request all three at once or space them out individually.
- Hearing impaired can use TDD service at 1-877-730-4104
- Credit Reports for children under 13 - the requirements, Credit companies don't knowingly maintain credit files on minor children, but if someone is using their information fraudulently (crooks know no boundaries) or you suspect the same there are steps to follow.
- OPT OUT number 1-888-5OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) to stop unsolicited credit and insurance offers.
- They use CAPTCHA technology, Https, ad VeriSign.
If you are interested in even more information see the links on the Federal Trade Commission concerning repair and identity theft.
- Deter. Detect. Defend. Avoid ID Theft FTC
Federal Trade Commission on Identity theft. Identity theft is a serious crime. It occurs when your personal information is stolen and used without your knowledge to commit fraud or other crimes.
- Credit Repair - FTC
Federal Trade Commission on credit repair. DIY and recognizing fraud.
- Michigain Attorney General Advice
The Attorney General of Michigan has some good advice on Credit Reports, and using your AnnualCreditReport. Recommend you read their site.
- AnnualCreditReport - Ordering
Site within AnnualCreditReport for ordering information on getting your free Credit Report.