Ready to apply for a mortgage loan? Thinking about getting a new credit card? Before you do, you may want to review a copy of your credit report to ensure that all your information is accurate. And, fortunately, there are quite a few ways to obtain a free copy of your credit report. Here’s how:
Make a phone call
There are three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are legally required to provide you with a copy of your credit report–for free!–once a year. And obtaining your report can be as simple as making a phone call! Just do an Internet search to find the phone numbers of the three credit reporting bureaus, and call each one individually. In most cases, you’ll give your information to an automated voice mail service, and in no time at all your reports will be delivered to your mailbox.
Write a letter
Don’t trust the automated voice mail system? Need your request in writing for paperwork reasons? When you search online for the three credit bureaus’ information, look for a snail mail address. In most cases, you can simply send a letter that includes all your basic information–name, address, social security number, phone number, and previous addresses. Ask for a copy of your credit report. Although this process takes a little longer than a phone call–because you have to wait for the postal service–you should still have your credit reports in a relatively short amount of time.
The quickest and easiest way to get your free credit report is to go online. You can either access your reports directly through the credit reporting bureau, or you can find a website that consolidates these reports into one. Either way, you’ll get your information instantly–no waiting! You can print out your report so that you can review it at your leisure.
No matter which method you choose for obtaining your credit report, remember: it should be free once a year. However, you may have to pay a small fee if you want your credit score, too.