A credit report is typically a financial report. If you have ever used a credit card or requested a loan, your bank evaluates credentials through your credit report. From the number of credit cards you’ve used in past, payment details, money that you owe on cards to the loans you’ve taken, a credit report lists them all.
All these factors make your credit card score, which is a three -digit number that indicates how risky of a borrower you are. That means if your borrowers’ grade point average is low, you might face difficulties in applying for new credit cards and loans. It is important to note that your credit report is thoroughly evaluated when you apply for a new loan or credit card.
That is why checking your credit report is of paramount importance multiple times a year to make sure that its information is correct. However, you must not pay to get a credit report. If a lender or website is charging you money or asking your personal information for a credit report, do not fall for this fraud.
It is because you can easily get your credit report without spending a penny thrice a year. You can submit your direct request to AnnualCreditReport.com, or you can receive it from credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Let’s see what steps you can follow to get credit report for free;
Steps to Get Your Credit Report for Free
1. Select a Credible Source
While sources like Credit Sesame or Credit Karma allow you to see credit scores at anytime, you cannot access your credit report more than three times a year. You can only check once when major credit card bureaus send you. This is what makes picking an appropriate source an important step to get a free credit report.
2. Call 1-877-322-8228 or Submit Request at AnnualCreditReport.com
To receive a free credit report, you can submit a request through AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, you can call on the verified number 1-877-322-8228. Remember that if any other source claims to provide a credit report and ask you to exchange personal information, it is a fraud.
Moreover, requesting a credit report will not negatively affect your credit history or credit, but you are limited to receiving three reports a year as per federal laws.
3. Fill an Online Credit Report
If you want your credit report through a website, you need to fill out a submission form. Regardless of how many forms you want (one to three), submitting the form for the allotted report is necessary. You will have to fill out some basic information in the form such as your name, your current residential address, and social security number.
4. Decide Number of Credit Reports You intend to Review
You need to select the credit bureau you want credit report from. Pick Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, or all three major credit bureaus. These bureaus have all your credit-card histories and information that they get from creditors. However, not all three of them contain the same information. This is where you need to choose the right credit bureau as this may lead to variation in your credit history information each bureau has recorded.
The best practice is to review all three credit reports to different point in time. Setting reminder to send a request for your credit report will help your view each report individually. However, if you are planning to make a big purchase such as buying a house or car that requires you to check credit, you can request all credit reports at once. This way, you can review all three of them for identity theft and accuracy.
5. Respond to Security Questions
Before you receive your credit report, bureaus ask some security questions to assess your credibility or verify identity. The information in the questions is based on your credit report and is often tricky. You are given only five minutes to complete the answers.
If you want to request all three reports from different bureaus, you have to answers the questions for each bureau.
6. Submit a Request to Review Credit report
Once all the steps mentioned above are complete, the credit card bureau website will generate your report within minutes. If the report is requested via phone, the bureau will send it by mail that may take 15 to 20 days.
Your credit report has five sections:
- Personal Information: the section comprises your name, addresses, date of birth, and contact details.
- Accounts: the section incorporates the entire history of your different credit lines you have had, account status, current balance, and account opening date, minimum payment, credit limit, and highest balance.
- Public Records: the section lists your legal matters related to bankruptcy, tax lien, etc.
- Hard Inquiries: your applications for new loans and credit cards (in the previous two years) will appear in this section.
- Soft Inquiries: if any insurance company, credit-card lender, employer, or lender has made an inquiry for your credit card, this section will show them.
7. File a Dispute in Case of Any Discrepancy
This is one of the most important steps that hold the main purpose of getting a credit report. Once you receive your credit report for free, inspect it for correct payment details, balance, dates, etc. if you find any discrepancy in the information, or you find the details entirely unrecognizable, and then file a dispute. You can do it online or call the credit bureau helpline.
It is important to know that you only get credit report for free from credit bureaus, but you have to pay for identity-monitoring services. It is because credit bureaus have unlimited email alerts, and credit reports if a fraudulent application for credit on your ID or name.
Overall, requesting a credit report doesn’t only help you determine your payment history but in several other matters. They are immensely helpful when it comes to managing your credit balances and applying for new loans. Thus, the given steps will help you get a credit report for free.
Access our network of Angel Investors, Venture Capital or get instantly matched with a Lender, or get a business plan by visiting us Funded.com