How to Obtain Credit Reports

by Melanie Rogers ; Updated July 27, 2017

Thanks to a law passed in 2005, everyone is eligible to receive one free credit report annually from each credit bureau, making it even easier to check your credit report and safeguard your credit score and credit history.

Step 1

Contact the Annual Credit Report organization for a free credit report from the three credit reporting agencies. Fill out the online form, providing your name, address, social security number, and date of birth.

Step 2

Choose how many reports you wish to receive. You may choose to receive one, two, or all three credit bureau reports. A screen will appear allowing you to immediately print your report. If you do not print your report at this time, you lose eligibility for a free credit report until next year.

Step 3

Call the Annual Credit Report organization at 1-877-322-8228 to request your free credit report. Answer a few simple, verifying questions. The report will be delivered to you within 2 to 3 weeks.

Step 4

Download a request form on the Annual Credit Report website to receive your report by mail. Once you have filled out the form, mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Your report will be sent to you within 15 days.

Step 5

Request a free report from each bureau. If you have been denied credit or an insurance policy or employment, based on information obtained from your credit report, you are eligible to receive a free credit report. You are also eligible if you receive unemployment benefits or public assistance.

Step 6

Pay each agency for your report if you need another report for reasons not stated in step 4 or less than a year has passed since receiving your last report. Visit the individual credit bureau websites to request the report, and pay the necessary charge. There are so many ways to receive a free report, however, that you shouldn't have to pay for a report except for unusual circumstances.

Tips

  • Once you receive your credit report, read and check it for accuracy.

Warnings

  • The Annual Credit Report website is the only authorized online source where consumers can access their credit reports for free under federal law.

About the Author

Melanie Rogers is a training professional and freelance writer. She has been writing professionally since 1995, and with Demand Studios since 2008. Her specialties include training manuals, technical manuals, marketing materials and parenting and lifestyle articles.