Many people are curious about their credit score and how they would obtain a credit report, but don‘t want to pay for it. While credit agencies used to keep such information next to impossible to obtain, the Federal Trade Commission now allows consumers to get an FTC credit report every year.
Thanks to federal legislation, consumers can now obtain an FTC credit report for free once a year by visiting a single Web site. All three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, are now required by law to give consumers access to their credit reports for free once a year. By going to annualcreditreport.com, consumers can see what their FTC credit report holds. Each credit scores can be different, so receiving all three is important to make sure your credit has not been adversely affected in a way that was picked up by one credit agency and missed by others.
For those who do not like using the Internet for such transactions, there are other ways to obtain an FTC credit report. It can also be obtained by telephone by dialing a toll-free number. If the consumer calls 1-877-322-8228, they can receive the same credit reports they would receive online. Another method is to obtain it by mail. If the consumer contacts the Federal Trade Commission, they can obtain an Annual Credit Report Request brochure, which they can fill out and mail to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA. 30348-5281. The process will end in the consumer obtaining a credit report, but will take several weeks to receive.
There are a number of other sites or companies that offer other methods of how to obtain a credit report for free, but many are not telling the complete story. Many companies that offer their service as a way how to get an FTC credit report neglect to mention that they will only allow the consumer to receive one of the three credit reports for free, and access to the others will cost them a fee. Others allow the consumer to obtain a credit report only after the consumer signs up for a “credit monitoring” service, which can cost $80 or more a year.