Your Free Annual Credit Report - Everyone Should Get Their Free Yearly Credit Report!
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act was signed into Federal law in December 2003 (the FACT Act). The most publicized provision of the FACT Act changes the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to allow consumers a free annual credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies. The three national credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.
The purpose of this video is to help you get your free yearly credit report that you are entitled to by Federal Law.
You can order your free yearly credit report by one of three ways - by phone, by mail, or online using the Internet.
- To order by phone, please call the Free Annual Credit Report Request Service at 877-322-8228. You will go through a simple verification process over the phone. Reports ordered by phone will be processed and mailed to you within 15 days. However, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery.
- To order your free credit report yearly by mail, you must print and use the special
form available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/requestformfinal.pdf 1
Mail the completed form to the address on the form. Reports ordered by mail will be processed and mailed within 15 days of receipt. However, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery of your report.
- To order over the Internet from the secure central site mandated by Federal law, go to: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp 2
After verifying your identity online, your credit report will be available for viewing online. Please note that a valid credit card may be necessary in the online process just in case you want to obtain your credit score online with your credit report. The credit score is not a part of your credit report. There will be a charge for you to obtain your credit score.
While the central Internet site for ordering your free annual credit report is not intended to be used to market other credit report products to consumers (other than credit scores as discussed above), read and understand the conditions you agree to when you order your report lest you agree to receive marketing information and solicitations for other products from the credit bureaus.
Credit Scores: your credit score is not part of your free yearly credit report. If the application form for your credit report on the central Internet site is asking for your credit card information, it is likely because you have chosen to buy your credit score or one of the other products from the credit agency.
More links related to Annual Free Credit Report:
- Annual Free Credit Report by Mail or Phone
- Free Credit Reports - No Credit Card
- Right to Free Report if Denied Credit
Questions regarding your Annual Free Credit Report:
Q. What if I need my credit report more than once a year?
A. Some sites offer credit reports without monitoring to consumers for a fee. More commonly, some credit monitoring services offer new credit reports either as part of their service, or for an additional fee. This credit monitoring service offers quarterly updates to your 3 reports and credit scores as part of their credit monitoring benefits.
Q. What if my annual free credit report has errors in it?
A. Generally if you are successful in getting your 3 credit reports from the central site2, it will include instructions for filing disputes with each of the 3 credit bureaus for items in your credit report that are not accurate. Normally the dispute process would be online if you got the reports online.
Q. What if I can't get my free annual credit report?
A. Depends on why you can't get your report, but if you fail to get your free annual credit report online, you should try to get it by mail, and include enough supporting evidence to prove your identity, SSN, and address.