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3 Ways To Get Your Credit Report

Apr 23, 2008
If you will be getting a car loan or applying for a home mortgage anytime soon, it is critical that you know what is in your credit report. After all, the first thing your potential lenders will do after you apply for a loan is to check your credit report to see if you are "credit-worthy." The better your credit history, the lower the interest rate you will be offered. In this article we will provide three, easy ways to get a free copy of your credit report.

First off, you actually have THREE credit reports, each published by one of the three major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Your past and current lenders provide information about your credit history to each of these three bureaus. The bureaus package this information into your credit report, and generate a resulting credit score. The good news is that, by law, you are entitled to free copy of each of your credit reports each year.

There are three ways you can get your copy:

#1: Online. The three credit reporting bureaus jointly sponsor a website specifically for the purpose of providing copies of your credit report. Well, actually the real purpose is to sell you additional services. More about that in a minute. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com, and click on the Request Report button. You'll have to provide a little personal information, but you'll be rewarded with a copy of your credit report instantly. A note of caution: there are a lot of other websites with similar names that will try to sell you a copy of your report. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only "official site" sponsored by the credit bureaus. Yes, they will try to sell you credit monitoring services, your credit score, and a variety of other "services," but you don't have to buy them in order to get a free copy of your report.

#2: By phone. You can also call the credit reporting bureaus to request a copy of your report. The number is 877-322-8228. They will take you through a verification process over the phone. But don't expect to see your report any time soon. In fact, they say they will "mail the report within 15 days. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery."

#3: By mail. The third way to request a copy of your credit report is by mailing a form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. They ask that you use a specific form available on their website (AnnualCreditReport.com), and once they get your form it will take a month or so before you get your report. Since you have to go to the website to get the form, you might as well request the reports online - it is certainly a lot faster.

Since you can get ONE free copy each year from each of the THREE credit bureaus, if you space out your requests (one request every four months), you can monitor your credit reports over the period of a year, all for free.
About the Author
To learn the inside secrets to fixing your credit fast, visit the author's website: Improve Your Credit Score With The Credit Secrets Bible
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