How do I Request My Free Credit Report?

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This happens to be the most frequently asked question I receive: How can I get my free credit report? is the ONLY authorized source for the free annual credit report that's yours by law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to your credit report for free from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies -- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion -- every 12 months.

The Federal Trade Commission has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report, and yet couldn't get it without paying fees or buying other services. TV ads, email offers, or online search results may tout "free" credit reports, but there is only one authorized source to obtain truly free credit reports from the big three credit reporting agencies.

How do I request my free credit report?
You can request your free report online, by phone or by mail. Visit, call 1-877-322-8228, or fill out the Annual Credit Report Request form and mail it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.  No matter how you request your report, you have the option to request all three reports at once or to order one report at a time.  By requesting the reports separately, you can monitor your credit more frequently throughout the year.  

Why should I request my credit report?
Because the information in your credit report is used to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and renting a home, you should be sure the information is accurate and up-to-date.  In addition, monitoring your credit is one of the best ways to spot identity theft.  Check your credit report at least once a year to correct errors and detect unauthorized activity.

What should I look for when I review my credit report?
If you see accounts you don't recognize or information that is inaccurate, contact the credit reporting agency and the information provider. Be sure to look for any deviation in the spelling of your name, an eroneous middle initial or employment and address errors. This could be an indication that someone is using your identity.

If you suspect identity theft you may need to place a fraud alert on your credit report, close compromised accounts, file a complaint with the FTC, or file a police report.  Start by reading the FTC's guide: Taking Charge: What to Do if your Identity is Stolen. 

File credit reporting complaints
If you have taken the appropriate steps to dispute the erroneous data contained in your credit reports and you are unable to clean up inaccuracies, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They will forward your issue to the company, give you a tracking number, and keep you updated on the status of your complaint.

The FTC wants to hear from you if you paid for what you thought was your free annual credit report. They also want you to forward on any unsolicited emails you've received offering you a free credit report. Send them to

It's also important to know: will NEVER send you an email solicitation for your free annual credit report or use pop up ads.

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