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Free Credit Bureau - How to Get Free Credit Bureau Reports

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As mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970 and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, every U.S. resident is entitled to one free copy of their credit report from each of the credit bureaus. For most people, this means getting the big three free credit bureau reports: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These three agencies are the ones predominately used for checking an individual’s credit history and creating a FICO credit score.

Individuals can obtain their annual free credit bureau reports through a simplified system created under FACTA. Applications can be made in one of three ways:

• Online at AnnualCreditReport.com – This is the only online source to obtain the annual free credit report on the internet. Many websites advertise free credit reports but they are either scams or they are selling additional services.
• Call the application center toll free at 1-877-322-8228
• Fill out the form provided on the official Annual Credit Report brochure published by the Federal Trade Commission. Once completed the form can be mailed to the following address:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Any of the above methods allows consumers to obtain free credit reports from all three of the credit bureaus at the same time. Separate applications for each bureau are not needed. If you do go directly to the credit bureau for a free annual report, they will charge you for a copy of your report, and some will enroll you in an automatic service with charges recurring monthly.

Besides the free annual reports, there are other ways to receive free credit bureau reports. You can get a free credit report directly from the bureau under the following circumstances:

• You were denied a loan or a line of credit for any reason.
• You were denied a job based on information in your credit report.
• You were denied an insurance policy based on credit findings.
• You are applying for unemployment benefits.
• You are applying for public assistance.
• You live in a state that has a separate free credit report law.

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