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Get Your Free Credit Report

What is a Credit Report?

A credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, is a report compiled by one or more of the three major American credit bureaus - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. It tracks your ability to borrow and repay your financial obligations including revolving accounts (e.g. credit cards) and installment accounts (e.g. car loan).

The credit report tells you and potential lenders which companies have examined your credit history, the dates when accounts were opened and closed, the amount of credit extended to you as well as your on-time or late payment behavior. Each legal resident of the United States is entitled to one free credit report each year.

Why Should I Get a Copy of my Credit Report?

Just as a physical from the doctor reveals steps you should take to improve your health, a financial checkup helps you figure out how you can improve your finances. You might discover that someone has stolen your identity or that a simple mistake has damaged your credit standing. And if you are thinking of making a major credit-based purchase, such as a home or car, it's a good idea to get a credit report six months prior to filling out a loan application to clear up any discrepancies. This includes applications for private student loans and other installment loans, too.

How Do I Order My Credit Report?

It's easy and fast, especially if is you order by secure website. Go to to learn how to order the report by phone, mail or online. You'll be asked to select your home state then be prompted to answer questions such as:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • social security number
  • current and previous address

If you are ordering the report on the website or over the phone expect to be asked a series of random multiple-choice questions designed to verify your identity - questions such a previous home phone number, zip code or your automobile license number. Within minutes you'll have a report that you can print and file away with other important records.

Will Checking my Report Lower my Score?

No, it will not affect your score which you must order separately. Your report will tell you if there are negative items that you may want to dispute, how and why to request a "Fraud Alert" and who is looking at your credit history. It's easy and fast is you choose to go online. Other questions? Go to Frequently Asked Questions.