4 More Ways To Get A Free Credit Report

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Logos for 3 Major Credit Bureaus

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You are on welfare.
  4. 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.

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  1. Speaking of credit reports, anyone know what the rules are re: being an authorized user on a credit card and why is shows up on the credit report? I thought an authorized user is not responsible for the credit account, so why does it show up on the credit report? Both my wife and I have opened credit card accounts and placed each other as an authorized user. On our credit reports, it shows the account as an authorized user account. If the authorized user isn’t liable for the account, then why is it being used in the person’s credit report? Is it being used to figure out DTI? Is it being used as part of FICO? Anyone know? Thanks.

  2. ok, so i found the answer on the FTC site, but it doesn’t go into whether the authorized user account(s) is used to figure out DTI and FICO for credit. Anyone know? Thx

  3. You are allowed one report from each of the 3 agencies once per year. This doesn’t mean you have to get all 3 at once. I go to the website and order a credit report from one agency about once every 4 months (rotating the agencies so I get one per year from each) So I can get a feel for my credit history 3 times a year.

  4. SavingEverything says

    I think you forgot one extra bonus credit report for those consumers who live in the following states: CO, GA, ME, MD, MA, NJ, and VT. Reason? Consumers in these states are eligible for 1 free credit report per year, under state law.

  5. Having 1 report every 4 months is great for just keeping tabs on things, but if you are an identity theft victim you really want to check all three at the same time as they could all be different.

    Thanks for the additional info, SE.

  6. There’s no way to get the credit scores for free, though, right?

  7. The only way I know of to get scores for free is through a free trial. My recommendation is to get the scores instantly online, print them out/save them to pdf format, and then cancel the very same day so you have no reason to forget.

  8. I was always told that pulling your credit report puts a mark on your credit. Anyone want to dispel or confirm this thought? And if it does make a mark, how severe is it?

  9. If you have a WaMu (formerly Providian) credit card, they will show you online the score they pull every month, and will optionally send you an e-mail alert if your score changes +/- 20 points. My account shows the TransUnion FICO (specifically, according to their online help, the “Bankcard Industry Option FICO score” which is apparently adjusted from the “Classic FICO” to be a more useful predictor for them.)

  10. Personally, I think getting a credit report without a credit score is half-useless. Then again, signing up and canceling didn’t go so well for me either – i ended up paying for a month of service. The whole system of credit rating just seems so medieval and outdated for me. It is much easier to harm your score than to improve it…

  11. Checking your own credit report doesn’t hurt your score at all.

    Your score is simply a formula based on the information on each credit report. Once you see a few scores and get familiar with the formula, you can pretty much predict your score range based on your report, so I don’t feel it’s worth the bother to check my score very often. I definitely will before applying for a mortgage, though.

  12. I actually check every 4 months, alternating the various sites so I only hit each one 1 time per year

  13. I was able to get a free credit report from TransUnion, actually on accident. I logged in and clicked on “dispute a credit item” or something like that, and they gave me a free credit report so i could check for things that were wrong. This was a month after I got it through annualcreditreport.com and I didn’t expect that to happen.

  14. I t hink if u sign up for a washington mutual credit card you can get your credit score for free…

  15. Thanks for the tip, Mike H.

    Yep, WaMu (formerly Providian) gives you your FICO score based on your Transunion credit report for free, although the updates can be erratic. But everyone has three scores, and you’ll still be missing out on Experian and Equifax.

  16. I’m checking my credit right now, but nowhere does it display the credit score, the numerical value of it. When I click on a link for it, it wants to charge me 5.95. I thought this was free?

  17. If you get a new job, sometimes the employer will check your credit and you can get a free copy. Not that I suggest switching jobs for that sole reason…

    Also, if you work for a credit agency you get yours free every year.

  18. i love this offer

  19. Jack Payne says

    Credit reports are fine, but, little-known is that the credit bureau fraud alerts are voluntary–and only a 50% compliance level prevails.

  20. Your report is free..you have to pay for the score..True credit is a good one, you get all 3 scores and reports just remember to cancel!

  21. Beware Freecreditreport.com
    It’s a scam and they will not make it easy for you to cancel your membership. Moreover, when you try to log in and cancel online, the website will crash or perform very weird things. You will get charged every month and you’ll spend days trying to cancel and speak with your bank or credit card company. These charges will show up every month under: CIC*Triple Advantage 877-4816825 CA

    Don’t fall for these corporate scams particularly from Freecreditreport.com

  22. i’ve been a member of the triple advantage membership at freecreditreport.com and i have already cancelled before and signed back again because their membership has really great offers. Unlimited experian report, identity theft guarantee worth $50,000… the reason that i can see why people think it’s a scam is because some people do not read the website and just click, click and cick; then when they get charged they would go berserk.

  23. willie green says

    I would like to see my credit score but I don’t own a credit card. Anyway I can see my credit score without having to pay through the nose?

  24. Word of warning — FREE is NOT Free. I recommend you DON’T use website freecreditreport.com — it’s a RIP OFF!!!!
    Read the FINE print.

  25. DO NOT!!! use Free Credit Report.com, I canceled my membership immediately after getting the initial free report, and they still charged me months after, all charges are apparently non-refundable.

  26. AnnualCreditReport is good for checking your credit report for free. If you want to check your credit score, you will have to pay for it. That is why l recommend using myFico. I agree with Jon, FreeCreditReport.com will still charge you even if you cancel. I have also used GoFreeCreditReport, they are really good.

  27. Where can I get a really FREE credit report? Hmmmm!


  28. Sad about WAMU says

    WAMU went downhill and gave us (customers) away to Chase. 🙁 no more free credit report every single month. Does anyone know of another credit company who supplies even one (WAMU supplied TransUnion) credit score?

  29. *Warning! Do not go on Free Credit report.com! I signed up for a free 7 day trial. I agreed to have my card charged for $1.00 and another $14.95 after 7 days if I chose to keep the membership. Well they charged me the dollar alright…along with another $24.95! I called customer service and they said I chose to upgrade and get all 3 credit reports for $24.95. I never agreed to a charge of $24.95. only $1.00 and $14.95 after 7 days. They scammed me and they will do it to you too! They told me I cannot have a refund either. I will never use or recommend their services again!

  30. Barb — call your credit card company and dispute the charge.

  31. Ian Ayliffe says

    Sometimes I think it’s worth just using a credit checking company that has had a good reputation and been in the market for a substancial number of years. Not sure you can get anything absolutely free now-a-days.

  32. Beware that at annualcreditreport.com you can get your report but if you pay for your score, it is not a FICO score. It is a vantage score which does not do you any good for a loan as lenders do not recognize this score. It is important to always check your report. The score will come if your report is in good shape. I don’t worry about my score, just the report. If you have some serious issues, so not hesitate to contact a credit counselor. Go to your states Consumer Protection site to find someone that is reputable. Never pay money up front to someone to help you with your credit.

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