As you are likely already far too aware, having a good credit report, and maintaining a good history, plays a role in everything from your interest rate on cards to whether you qualify for a home loan.
That makes it necessary that you review your score regularly for changes or possible errors. This information in your score can affect your ability to obtain a loan, housing, or a new line of credit.
You may find yourself wondering how you can access your credit information. Also, how much doing so will cost you. Fortunately, accessing your score is easier than ever before, and it is free!
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the nation’s companies to provide everyone with a free copy.
That means that you can request a copy from any nationwide company. Is this not something you have done before? Are you are not sure how to get a copy of your credit report? Keep reading for an overview of everything you need to know about accessing your history.
What Is A Credit Report?
If you are not familiar with them, you may wonder what a credit report is and what is on it. A credit report is a history that has information about your current and former financial accounts. Including, your payment history for each.
Yours will contain information such as your name, social security number, current and previous addresses. Additionally, current and former employer, card and loan payments, and credit inquiries. Sometimes, public records such as bankruptcies, judgments, and foreclosures. If you rent your home, it will also show information about your rent payment history.
For each account listed in your history, your history will show what type of account it is, the date established, your payment history, and your credit limit. Accessing your credit report can then help allow you to track your history.
Getting a copy of your score is particularly important before applying for a loan, as you will want to ensure that the information in your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. You should also occasionally review your history for potential signs of fraud or identity theft that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job. It is also helpful in properly filing your taxes.
How Do I Order A Free Credit Report?
Luckily, it is easy to get a copy of your free score. The three major nationwide companies have set up a central website, toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address through which anyone can easily order theirs for free annually.
The easiest way to order your free copy is online. Here, you can order all three of your credit reports at once with no obligations or hidden fees. You will have to enter some personal information to confirm your identity, but you will not have to pay through this site. If you prefer not to request yours online, you can also complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form.
While you may choose to order from all three companies, you can also request them individually throughout the year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to order one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each company.
Can I Get More Than One Free Report Per Year?
While the FCRA entitles you to one free copy every 12 months from all three credit bureaus, you may be entitled to additional free credit reports in certain situations.
For instance, several states including, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont, offer an additional free score per year to their residents. Additionally, you can get a free copy directly from an agency.
You have 60 days from the day you are notified of the denial to request a credit report from the agency used to check your credit. Furthermore, according to the FTC, everyone in the U.S. can get six free credit reports per year through 2026 because of COVID-19.
Can I Get A Free Credit Score As Well?
You may find yourself wondering if you can also get a free score at the same time as your free credit report. Unfortunately, the FCRA does not mandate that companies give you a free score with your free credit report.
However, there are other ways for you to access your credit score for free. For instance, many banks and card companies provide their customers with free scores and credit reports. Before you pay for a copy of your credit score, you should check with your credit card company to see if you can get your score for free through them.
Checking your score can be critical in ensuring that there is no false information in your history that could affect your ability to get a loan, an apartment, or a job. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how you can get a free copy.