Like many people, I’m curious about my credit score and want to know how to get my free credit rating. While credit agencies used to keep such information next to impossible to obtain, there are now a number of ways to get my free credit rating.
Thanks to federal legislation, I can get my free credit rating 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 me access to my free credit rating once a year. By going to annualcreditreport.com, I can see what their credit report holds. Each credit score 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 make a free credit report request. It can also be made by telephone by dialing a toll-free number. If I call 1-877-322-8228, I can receive the same free credit rating I would receive online. Another method is to obtain it by mail. If I contact the Federal Trade Commission, I 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 me obtaining my free credit rating, but will take several weeks to receive.
There are a number of other sites or companies that offer their own ways of answering me my free credit rating, but many are not telling the complete story. Many companies that offer their service as a way how to get free 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.