How to Get a Free Credit Report Online

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    It is important that all consumers take care of their credit, and check their credit reports often for mistakes. Credit is checked for many reasons nowadays, and keeping it in good condition is crucial to one's financial health. There are several ways to obtain your credit report, including a few ways to get it online for free.
    • Step 1

      Visit the national free credit report website, Annual Credit (see Resources). This website offers you a chance to obtain a free credit report from each credit bureau once a year. This means you can receive one Experian credit report, one Transunion report and one Equifax report. Each credit report will be different and will contain different information, so it is important to check each one. You do not need to request each one at the same time. You can request one from each credit bureau every year. When you go through the process to obtain these reports, you are given the option of viewing the report online, saving it online and even printing it. The site will keep track of when you ordered a report, so you can return in one year to obtain another one.
    • Step 2

      Sign up for a free trial credit monitoring program. A credit monitoring program will alert you of any changes or inquiries made to your credit report--great for those working to improve their credit or those who want to be careful of identity theft. When you sign up, you can view your credit report for free at anytime. While they offer a free trial, they will charge you when that is over so remember to cancel it if you don't want it. The most reputable credit monitoring programs are, which also allows for credit score monitoring as well as credit report,, and You can also sign up for credit monitoring on the websites of each of the credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax or Experian (see Resources). On the home page of each website, you will see clear instructions to follow to sign up for their credit monitoring programs. Read the fine print regarding cancellations and satisfaction guarantee claims.

    • Step 3

      Go directly to the credit bureau sites to request a free report. If you were recently denied credit for any reason, you can request a free credit report within 60 days from the bureau that was checked. Keep track of which bureaus were checked when you were denied, as that is the only one you can request a free credit report from them. Visit the websites of each Transunion, Equifax and Experian, and click on the "Get your Credit Report" application. Each bureau will allow you to order your report online, and give you the option of viewing it, saving it to your hard drive, or printing it.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Check one credit bureau report at a time so you can work on fixing that report up before requesting another.

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