How to (actually) get a free credit report from Equifax/Experian/TransUnion

If you’ve navigated to any of the three bureaus in an attempt to receive your federally mandated yearly credit report, the homepage of each site typically advertises a great deal on seeing your credit report/score. The problem is, these cost money, which is a whole lot more than free. So where’s the free report?

Step 1: Go to annualcreditreport.com.

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This is a joint site between all three bureaus, and it’s legit, I promise. You can get all three credit reports through here. Select “Request your free credit reports”. You’ll be directed to another page, where you can again select “Request your free credit reports”.

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Quick note here – your credit report is not your credit score. If you’re looking for your credit score, all three bureaus will charge you additional money to get it. This is not part of the free yearly report you are entitled to.

Step 2: Fill out the form.

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In order to pull your report, you’re going to have to enter in some personal identifying information, like your SSN and current address, so make sure that these are correct or else there’s a chance that you might not be able to pull your report. When you’re all done and the captcha has been filled out, select “Next”.

Step 3: Choose the bureau you want to see your credit report from.

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You can choose any combination of reports to pull; just remember that you can only do so one every twelve months from each bureau. You can stretch it out one every three months, or pull all three at once if you want to compare them side-by-side to see if there are any significant differences. Whichever you decide completely depends on what your credit needs are. For this post, I selected TransUnion, but the experience for the other two are similar.

Step 4: Confirm your identity. 

You’ll be given a series of questions (typically 3) to confirm data within your credit report. Answer them (correctly, obviously) and you’ll be directed to your credit report.

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Voila, that’s it!