Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Free Credit Report

Factors contributing to someone's credit score...Image via Wikipedia

If you're like me, you've been hearing that it's now free to get your credit report every year. Before you had to be turned down when you applied for credit, or you had to pay for it. However, no matter how many times I heard that I could get my credit report free, every time I checked a site that offered me that 'free' credit report, it always came with strings attached. Sure, I could get my credit report, if I signed up for a trial of some service or other. I don't know about you, but I don't really consider that free. I mean, it doesn't actually have to cost me anything, but I do have to agree to try something and then remember to cancel before the trial period is up. I just hate getting into things like that.

Today on the local news they mentioned the free credit report again. This time I paid closer attention, and they gave a link to the site where the credit report really is free. No strings. Just free. Just in case you've been distracted, like me, by the seemingly free credit reports with the catchy songs, this is the one you were looking for: AnnualCreditReport.com

The site is sponsored by the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and once every 12 months you can request a free credit report from each of them through the site. All three reports do not have to be requested at the same time, so you can request your report from Equifax now, wait 4 months and request your report from Experian, wait 4 months and request from TransUnion, and then repeat the cycle. That way you can keep an eye on your credit reports throughout the year and hopefully catch any discrepancies right away.