Free Credit Reports

Written by Briana Cavanaugh

February 29, 2008

One of the things that I like to do regularly is get my credit reports to see what’s going on. You’re entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major agencies – TransUnoin, Experian and Equifax – and these days you can get them online. You can get them more often than once a year for various reasons including if within 60days of appling for credit (whether you’re approved or not).

Each of the credit bureaus does things a little bit differently, so it behooves you to look at all of them. I found a mistake on one of mine that was not reflected on the other two which was interesting to me (and I plan to dispute it).

But why just one? I recently started reading “Dirty Little Secrets:” What the Credit Bureaus Won’t Tell You” (Entrepreneur Press) which has a lot of great information including that different companies report to different agencies but not necessarily to all of them, so the information is likely to be at least a little bit inconsistent (which I already knew).

But, did you know that even though you’re entitled to a copy of your credit report, you’re they can charge you to see your score? There are options to get 3-in1 reports for varying pricesor you can get them one at a time by agency.

By the way, I got my free credit reports at Annual Credit Report. I couldn’t figure out how to find the free reports on the TransUnion site (it actually goes to a third party site that is full of ads and all kinds of products, but nowhere could I find the link to get my credit report for free). But Experian had the link on their front page. However, they all wanted money to take a look at the scores, so I opted for doing a search to find the above tool this which I’ve used before.

Over all it was a pleasant experience – I’ve been in process with my own money and credit stuff and am finding that the work really pays off. I’d love to hear what you find out and what, if anything, you do about it.


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