How to obtain your credit report

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

You may want to consider requesting a report from one bureau, and then another report from the second bureau four months later, and then your final report from the remaining bureau four months after that. This strategy may help you spot unauthorized accounts more quickly than an annual review.

The only website providing a free annual credit report is run jointly by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at annualcreditreport.com.

An example credit report.

Be wary of the many websites that advertise free credit reports. Many consumers get tricked into paying for reports and services they don’t really need.

Note: 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.

Click the Next button to learn how to read your credit report.