Federal regulations entitle you to one FREE credit report a year from each of the three top credit reporting agencies, TransUnion,Experian and Equifax. Even if you weren’t one of the 100 million victims of the recent theft of Target credit card numbers and their PIN numbers, it’s important to check your credit history and score at least once a year, to identify any funny stuff with your name and Social Security number.
Instead of paying $25 or more for a credit report, the only place to get a FREE credit report is via Annual Credit Report, set up by those three agencies named in the first sentence.
Today, December 31, is the last day for 2013 you can get your three free credit reports for this year. I just checked mine, and each of the credit reporting agencies offers something different, so you might need all three. This is what I found –
TransUnion – Lists everything I ever charged on any credit card, including one late payment to Macy’s in 2007 when I was disputing a bill. TransUnion gave me a long online list to scroll through.
Experian – The only option they allowed me was to print out my report. The printer prompter said one page, so I clicked okay. Nope – it was sixteen pages of tiny type, but it included information about which banks or other financial institutions requested my credit history, such as for a new credit card I applied for this year.
Equifax – I did not get this credit report, since it is not available online but by USPS only. I simply did not like the idea of sending such identifying documents as a copy of my Social Security card or W-2 or w-9 form, to prove my identity, plus either a copy of my driver’s license, rental or lease agreement or utility or phone bill to prove my address.
Here’s information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act from the Federal Trade Commission website.