Where to get your credit reports for free
Though there are a ton of websites that claim to offer credit reports for free, there's only one that's federally authorized to do so. That site is annualcreditreport.com.5 Through this website, you can request your credit report from all three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — once per year at no cost. You can also call 1-877-322-8228 to request your reports.6
How often to check your credit reports
Since you can only request each report for free once per year, consider staggering your requests throughout the year rather than getting all three at once.
- For example, you can request your Experian report in February to see how your credit is faring after the holiday shopping rush.
- In July or August, pull your Equifax report and check that things are still in good shape after summer vacation.
- Finally, request your TransUnion report in the late fall to perform a final review for the year.
The schedule you choose is up to you — the goal is to be strategic and space it out over the year, reviewing your reports at times when there's a higher chance of fraud or credit slip-ups. But the main point is to check your reports, period. If you make it a habit, your credit will benefit.