The Facts about Free Credit Reports

Recently, you've probably seen or heard one or more of those commercials advertising Websites that give you your free credit report. But what you may not know is that some of those so called free credit reports come with strings attached. Some of these sites have you sign up for a supposedly free service that converts to a paid service after a trial period. If you don't cancel before the end of the trial period, the company may start charging fees to your credit card leaving you paying for a service that is actually provided by the Government for free.

Here are the Free Credit Report Facts:

QUOTE "The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nations consumer reporting companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nations consumer protection agency, enforces the FCRA with respect to consumer reporting companies.

A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home."

Where do I get my Free Credit Report?

The only website that is legally mandated to provide you with a free annual credit report is The free credit report request form can be filled out directly via the website. Your resulting credit report is then displayed and can be reviewed, printed, saved etc.

What information do I need?

On the form, you will be asked to provide your name, birthdate, address and Social Security number. You may also be asked to provide personal information that only you would know to help verify your identity.