How to Check Your Credit Report with the Right Resource
Free credit report websites are everywhere, but do you know how to find the best one for your needs? Not all sites are created equal and some may actually do more harm than good.
To discover how to check your credit report with the right resource, first take a better look at what is available.
Options to Check Your Credit Report
When it comes to checking your credit report, there are some options you want to look at. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was established to help consumers have access to their credit information every year.
This means the major reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — must provide you with a free copy of your credit report every 12 months (if you request it).
So what are your options?
First, you can access the government-sponsored website — AnnualCreditReport.com. This site provides your credit report information from the three agencies mentioned above. However, these reports do not include a listing of your credit scores.
Although useful, the credit information provided in the free reports is limited. If you want to gather additional information beyond the free credit data, explore additional resources, including FreeScore.com. Going beyond the information provided by the free government-sponsored site, you may incur fees, but these services will give you a deeper look at your credit information, including your credit score.
Beware of Credit Report Imposter Websites
Although there are different resources available to you, don't get drawn into every ad or offer that promises detailed information for free. Yes, seems to good to be true — and it usually is. Some may include hidden fees or may be a phishing scheme trying to steal your personal information.
Remember, if you decide to get additional credit information — like your credit score — from a website not affiliated with the federal government, there is typically a fee for this information. Before requesting this information, be sure that you read the terms for the service. Some services offer you a free trial period, so you can get your credit scores essentially for free, but if you do not cancel during the introductory period, you will pay a membership fee.
Why Check My Credit Report?
Identity theft. Bad credit score information. False credit report claims.
They all can show up on your report or happen without your knowledge. Just remember the resources are out there and to stay safe, be sure to find out what's happening with your credit report before it affects your credit score.
Credit report resources give you some needed information about what others see about you — from employers to creditors. From government-sponsored sites to more extensive fee-based sites, it's important to know what you're getting from each service (for example, some services only report scores from one credit bureau). Just remember to stay safe and informed as you access your personal information.
If you're ready to find more detailed information about your credit score, sign up for a FreeScore membership today.
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