Listen weekdays from 1-3pm ET
(No audio? Try our help)
Recent shows | More media

Listen Live: Mon-Fri 1-3pm ET

Posted: 12:46 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013

Free Credit Report

There's only ONE legitimate site to get a truly FREE credit report



Related

By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Are you getting all your free credit reports?

Due to the passage of the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), all Americans are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- upon request every 12 months. There are several ways you can request yours:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281


TIP:Don't forget to get your free credit score while you're at it.

The 2003 law did not eliminate the other ways to receive a free credit report. You're still entitled to yours if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • You applied for a loan and were turned down. You can request by writing the correct credit bureau within 30 days of your rejection. Enclose a copy of the declined loan application with your request.
  • You're unemployed and planning to apply for jobs in the next 60 days.
  • You're receiving public assistance.
  • You believe your credit file contains mistakes due to fraud.
  • You currently reside in a state that offers a free annual report from each credit reporting agency by state law. Residents of the following seven states are entitled to one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit agencies per federal law and one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit agencies.

Colorado
Georgia
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Jersey
Vermont

The second free report can be obtained by directly calling or writing each credit bureau:

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111   (P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374)
Experian: 1-888-397-3742   (P.O. Box 2002,  Allen, TX 75013)
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800  (P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022)

Include the following info in your letter. Be sure that each person requesting the report signs and dates the request.

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Current and former address
  • Social Security number
  • Your spouse's name
  • Your phone numbe 


For those who do not reside in the seven states where you are entitled to a second free credit report per agency per year, you may order a second or third report directly from the three agencies by mail. Include the same identifying information listed above and mail to the same addresses listed for each bureau. Here is a breakdown of the charges:

California residents: $8 per report
Connecticut residents: $5 per report
Minnesota residents: $3 per report
Montana residents: $8.50 per report
Virgin Island residents: $1 per report
Residents of all other states: $10 per report

If you're in the military and stationed overseas, begin by writing to the address above and sending copies of as much ID as possible. Be sure to provide a U.S. mailing address where your report can be sent. You may need to have the report sent to a relative's home and have them forward it to you.



Getting a credit report from Innovis -- considered the 4th major credit bureau:

Regardless of where you live, you are entitled to one Innovis credit report at no cost if you:

  • Are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within the next 60 days.
  • Receive public assistance.
  • Believe your file contains inaccurate information because of fraud. • Received a notice of an adverse decision -- such as a denial of credit, insurance or employment -- within the past 60 days.


Rules for all others as to how to obtain your Innovis credit report are available at Innovis.com. Check the link on this page for cost information by state.


Specialty reports, such as the C.L.U.E. report from LexisNexis, are also available. For a list of such reports, see Privacy Rights Clearinghouse's rundown.

TheWorkNumber, an Equifax-owned company, permits you to order a free report to learn what information they have about you. This employment data report could potentially be given out when an employment verification request is made. To see what they've got on you, visit TheWorkNumber.com or call 1-866-604-6570.

 



WHEN REPORTS ARE FROZEN, ORDER YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS AS FOLLOWS:
(the information comes from people who have tried these methods -- let us know how these methods work for you)

TransUnion: Call 1-877-322-8228 and follow the voice prompts.


Experian: Call-1-877-322-8228 and follow the voice prompts.
If that does not work for you, then write to the following address:
Experian Credit Report Request for Frozen Report
PO Box 9554
Allen,TX. 75040

Equifax: Call 1-888-298-0045 or 1-877-784-2528
If that does not work for you, then write to the following address:
Equifax Credit Information Services
Request for Report on Frozen Credit Report
PO Box 740241
Atlanta,GA. 30374

Remember to include your ID information and your PIN.

Sources: Bankrate.com and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse


How to challenge errors on your credit report

Did you hear about the woman who sued Equifax for $18 million because they wouldn't fix errors on her credit report even after she diligently stayed on top of them for 2 years?

Having black marks on your files could mean denial of job offers, higher interest rates on loans, higher insurance rates, or outright denials for credit. Disputing an error on your credit report is difficult, but it can be done. Here's how to challenge errors on your credit report.