Some companies will provide your free credit report online when you sign up for their credit monitoring service. These services allow you monitor your credit file on a continuous basis, which can be especially beneficial if you are trying to restore your credit or if you are worried about identity fraud. Before you sign up for one of these services, you need to realize that you will pay a monthly fee that continues until you cancel your subscription.
There are also other services which don't charge for letting you view your credit report, such as Credit Karma or Nerd Wallet. These companies are able to provide your credit report (usually from one of the main credit bureaus) for free by earning compensation from advertisements you see on their sites.
If you just want to see what is in your credit report, you can do so without signing up for any special services. And it won't cost you a thing. The United States Congress passed the FACT Act in part to encourage people to check their credit files for accuracy. The FACT Act, which stands for Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions, entitles consumers to obtain one free copy of their credit report every twelve months from each of the three credit bureaus.
The main access point to obtain your credit report under the Federal law is at AnnualCreditReport.com. When you visit the site, you don't need to order a report from all three credit bureaus at the same time unless you want to. Some people find it convenient to monitor their credit by requesting a different credit bureau report every four months.
You are also entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you have been denied credit. The lending institution which denied you credit will give you the name credit bureau they used in their making their lending decision. With this information, you can then get a copy of your credit file by writing to the individual credit bureau or going directly to their website to request a copy of your credit report.
There are other situations in which also qualify you to receive a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you have been a victim of identity theft and have initiated a fraud alert on your credit file. Individuals on public welfare assistance may request a copy of there credit report without being charges, as well as people who are unemployed and planning to seek employment within the next 60 days. There are also some states which allow you an additional free credit report annually.
For more information on this, see how to get your Free Credit Check.
So what can you do if you need to check your credit report, but yet don't qualify for any of the free options. Your best bet is to order a single report from one or all three of the individual credit bureaus. You can find out more about how to order these reports on the following credit bureau pages:
To help you understand more about your credit report and what you can do to fix problems and improve your rating, check out the following articles: