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Free Credit Report Through the Government

Updated on June 28, 2010

Many people are unaware of their credit score and the things in their credit report.  Credit reports have a lot of detailed information about you since it shows all the accounts that you’ve opened.  They also show payments that you paid late or even defaulted on.  Companies use this information to determine whether or not to extend credit to you.  So every time you want to open a credit card account, turn on your water or electric, these companies run a check on your credit.  If your credit rating is low, then they might not extend credit to you or may ask a deposit from you.  In order to avoid having to put deposits down or get high interest rates, you need to have a good credit history.  To do that you should check your credit report often to see if there are any negative marks on it.  You also need to check and make sure there is no fraudulent activity going on with your credit.

You can get your credit report from any of the three credit reporting agencies.  They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  Normally, they charge a fee for you to get your report.  However, a few years ago the Government announced that the credit agencies should be more transparent on their reporting on credit.  To this effect, these credit agencies have to provide people with a free credit report through the government. 

To get a free credit report through the government, you can go to any of the three credit reporting agency’s website and order a copy.  All you would need is your social security number, address, name, and birth date.  Once they give you the report, you should print it out and save it since usually they won’t let you view it again.  Since you are only allowed one free credit report from each agency once a year, you may want to get a report from only one agency every few months.  This ensures that you can check your report several times throughout the year. 

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