How to Get a Free Annual Credit Report from the Government

How to Get a Free Annual Credit Report from the Government

Get your free credit report without the BS.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles all Americans to a free credit report every 12 months. You can make this request via the official government-run website. The credit report contains information from the three major US credit reporting bureaus

1

Visit the official government-run website
2
Click the "Request yours now!" link

This will take you to a page outlining the three-step process required to request your credit report.

3

Click the "Request your credit reports" button

This begins the three-step process.

4

Fill out a form

Fill out the required personal information.

5

Pick the reports you want

There are three major US credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each maintains a separate account of your "credit record". Therefore, certain credit information might appear on one report but not on another.
Choose the reports you'd like to receive. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) permits you to receive one of each credit report every 12 months; in other words, you could request an Equifax report today, an Experian report tomorrow, and a TransUnion report the next day.
I like to receive all three reports at once, so I'm going to check all three boxes.

6

Review and download your reports for each credit bureau

The final two steps will be repeated for each credit bureau from which you've requested a credit report. At the end of each bureau's steps, you will have the option to download a PDF of your credit report. I recommend either printing a hard copy or encrypting the downloaded file to prevent cyber-thieves from gaining access to this sensitive information.
During the verification process, you will be asked questions about past loans, credit lines, etc. in order to verify your identity.