How Can I Find a Free Credit Report?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to a free credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies every 12 months. Many banks and credit card issuers provide free credit scores to their customers, which is a number based on the content of your credit report. So, chances are, your credit card issuer may have a program allowing you to access a credit score.
You can also request a report by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website, or by contacting each of the credit bureaus individually — although that may take more time.
Being informed can help you save money when looking to see your credit report or your credit score. Plenty of sources still charge for this information, but there’s no need to open your wallet to monitor your credit health.
What’s the difference between a credit report and a credit score?
Your credit report and credit score are separate, but related, entities. Your credit report lists your borrowing and payment history. Your credit score quantifies this information into a three-digit score. Bear in mind that there is not just one credit score. Each credit reporting agency will score your credit history differently depending on the information in your credit report, and your score will likely fluctuate from month to month based on several factors, like taking on more debt or paying off loans.
Why do some credit reports cost money?
You are only entitled to one free credit report every 12 months. That may not be enough in a world of widespread data breaches, identity theft and credit card fraud. Many companies offer services that allow you to pull your credit reports more often, including the credit reporting agencies.
Is my credit report accurate?
When it comes to credit reporting agencies, there are common credit report errors you should look for in your credit report. This is one of the reasons why the federal government mandated free annual credit reports in the first place. It is also why it is important to review all three of your credit reports at least once a year.
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