How to obtain your credit report

The three largest credit bureaus in the United States are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. A federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to receive one free copy of your credit report from each of these three companies once a year.

To get a free report online, go to and follow the directions. This site is run jointly by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

An example credit report

Be wary of the many Web sites that advertise free credit reports! Many consumers get tricked into paying for reports and services they don’t really need. The Web site providing your free annual credit report is, run jointly by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

When you receive your report, check for mistakes in your name, social security number, former addresses, accounts you didn’t open, and errors in your history.

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