I think the media in general has been pretty successful about promoting AnnualCreditReport.com, the official government-mandated source of free credit reports. I checked all mine last March. But what happens when it hasn’t been 12 months yet but you need to check again? Do you try one of those free trial gimmicks and remember to cancel in time?
Not so fast! There are several more ways to get a free credit report without having to use up all your freebies:
- You were denied credit, insurance, or a job due to information on your credit report. A notice stating which credit bureau supplied the report should be included in your letter of denial. You then have 60 days to request a free copy of your report from them.
- You are unemployed. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you?re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days.
- You are on welfare.
- Your believe yourself to be a victim of identity theft. Perhaps you recently found a suspicious transaction, or lost your wallet. Have you shopped at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s since 2003? Place a fraud alert on your file, and then ask for a free copy of your credit report.
Here are the numbers you’ll need:
* Equifax: 800-685-1111; Fraud Dept. 800-525-6285
* Experian: 888-397-3742 (same for Fraud Dept.)
* Trans Union: 800-916-8800; Fraud Dept. 800-680-7289
This is all taken from the Federal Trade Commission, so you can reference that if they try to argue with you.