How to Get a Free Credit Check

When are you entitled to a free credit check? Thanks to an important new law called the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), U.S. consumers can receive a free copy of their credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies once a year. To read more about this important law and how to get a copy of your report, see our article on the FACT Act.

You are also entitled to a free credit check if you have been denied credit because of information contained in your credit history. Most creditors will provide a statement outlining why you were denied credit and which credit bureau furnished the information that their decision was based on. You can then contact that credit bureau to request a free credit report based on denial of credit. To qualify for the free report, you must contact the credit bureau within 60 days. State in your letter that you were denied credit based on information provided by their company, and would like a free copy of your credit file. The credit bureau will then send your report in the mail.

You can also receive your free credit check once a year if you are a resident of Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Vermont. Other instances that qualify for a free credit report are:

  1. If you are unemployed, and plan to seek work within the next 60 days. Be sure to include a copy of your unemployment card
  2. If you are a welfare recipient. Include a copy of your welfare card
  3. If you believe that you are a victim of credit fraud

To obtain your free credit check under the above conditions, send your request to the credit bureau, and include the following information in your letter:

  1. Full name - first, middle, last (including Jr., Sr., etc)
  2. Current address
  3. Previous addresses for the last two years
  4. Social Security Number
  5. Date of Birth
  6. Home phone number
  7. Your signature

Contact information for the three credit bureaus:

TransUnion LLC

Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
1-800-888-4213

Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
1-800-997-2493

Experian (TRW)

1-888-397-3742

There are also companies that offer a free credit report when you sign up for their credit monitoring services. For more information about your credit report, check out the following sections.