Free Credit Reports… How To Work The System To Your Advantage



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If you’re like me, then you know that it’s a good idea to request a copy of your credit report every year. Sometimes I do, sometimes I forget. Let this be a reminder to all… (I ordered mine today.)

A 2004 study by U.S. PIRG (Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups) found 25% of reports contained serious errors. If something’s wrong, it’s up to you to contact the bureau and clear it up.
Source: Good Housekeeping, July 2007

But did you know that it’s actually possible to request three separate credit reports each and every year?

Wondering what the quickest & easiest way to do this is?

Here’s what you need to know…

There are several ways that you can request your free credit report.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of websites and TV commercials that try to confuse you into “ordering” your credit report from them. Some might charge shipping fees. Others charge for fee-based services (like identity theft insurance or monthly credit monitoring).

By law, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report… each year… from each of the three big credit bureaus.

You could request your free credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) directly. But believe it or not, they actually try to “upsell” you with various packages that they offer, too.

So, here’s the scoop…
If you want your FREE credit report without hidden fees and without anyone trying to upsell you on other fee-based services, there’s only one website you should go to:

AnnualCreditReport.com
(You can also phone them: 877-322-8228.)

The best part:
If you use this website to request a free report from a different credit bureau every 4 months, that’s 3 free credit reports each year… one from each reporting bureau.

Since each credit bureau uses slightly different reporting methods, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of your opportunity to request reports from each of them and as frequently as possible.

Sources:
Good Housekeeping
Experian
TransUnion
Equifax

Lynnette

With input from Financial Advisors, (a Tax Accountant and an Investment Manager), I share helpful tips regarding money and finances -- including debt relief, insurance, budgeting, and investing for retirement. My goal is to help you save more, spend less, and invest for the future by sharing honest, tried & true budgeting tips and tools. When I'm not saving for the future and helping others save for theirs, you can find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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