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How to get your credit report

Where and how to get your credit report

Getting a credit report at least once a year is ideal for maintaining your financial health. Even if you have a good idea of what might be contained in your credit report it is still a good idea to check it. Why? The financial institutions that report your information to credit bureaus deal with thousands, if not millions of consumers. It is quite possible for mistakes to be made. Balances could be reported incorrectly, paid off accounts might not be updated. A simple slip of the finger could put someone else’s derogatory information on your credit report.

The three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – maintain their data independently. Not only that, some of your creditors and lenders might deal with one credit bureau, while others might deal with another. You should check your credit report with all three credit bureaus.

Through the web
Legally, you have the right to receive a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year. Although you are given this right, it is still your responsibility to obtain your report. The credit bureaus will not send your report automatically.

You can request your credit report by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Regardless of anything else you read on the internet, this is the only site through which you can obtain your free annual credit report.

By telephone
If you prefer to order your credit report by phone you can do so by calling 877-322-8228.

Note that there are other companies that provide free credit reports through their own promotions. Even some of the credit bureaus have promotional deals that allow you to order a credit report for free. Be advised that these promotions do not provide the free credit report granted to you by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

Each of the three credit bureaus gives you the option of ordering your credit report through their websites. In most cases, you can purchase a single credit report for $10 or the three-in-one credit report for $30. Obtaining your credit score comes at an additional cost.

Be careful that you don’t attempt to purchase your credit report through a scam website. You should be wary of any company that promises to fix your credit report or give you excellent credit by cleaning up your credit report. If you don’t trust a company’s website, it’s best not to input your personal information. For the most trustworthy method of obtaining your credit report, use the methods mentioned above.

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