Getting Your Credit Reports

The FTC or Federal Trade Commission requires each of the credit Bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to give consumers one free credit report per year for a total of three free reports each year. But you have to ask for them.

You can get your free reports by going online to

Don’t go directly to the credit report companies, they’re geared toward selling you reports. You will have to supply your Social Security number and answer personal questions to validate that you really are the person you claim to be, but you should get the reports and an explanation of them instantly.

Be sure to print them out before you leave the website. You can also get free reports by printing out a copy of the Annual Credit Report Request Form which is available on and mailing it in. The phone and mail routes may take fifteen days or longer before you get your reply.

If you have already taken advantage of your free credit reports for the year but you want to confirm that the information is still current then you can but updated copies. Each company may charge you up to $9.50 per copy.

To purchase reports you should go directly to the credit bureau websites:, and But you’ll actually be better off buying the reports in conjunction with your credit scores.