Checking your credit report regularly keeps you updated on your credit activity and lets you identify and correct errors. There are a couple of ways to get free credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you haven’t been able to access free credit reports online, there might be a few different reasons.
Authorized Free Credit Reports
The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees consumers free credit reports once a year. The Federal Trade Commission authorizes only one source for free reports: AnnualCreditReport.com. There are several reasons why you might not be able to get free credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com. You only get one report each year per credit reporting agency, so if you’ve accessed your report online within the last 12 months, you have to wait one year to see it again. Also, to access your report you must provide personal information and answer questions based on the information in your credit report. If you answer incorrectly, the online system won’t give you access. Finally, if you haven’t started using credit, you can’t get a credit report because none exists.
Other Free Credit Report Options
Some banks, credit card companies and similar businesses offer free credit reports to customers. However, you can only get free credit reports this way when you are a paying customer. If you can’t get your credit reports free this way, it may be because the company doesn’t offer this feature. Try checking with other companies where you have accounts.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.