Getting a Free Credit File Hassle-Free

Your free credit file shows your complete credit history. This includes such financial information as account payments and summaries, bankruptcy filings, total available credit, and loan and mortgage information.

Before you can obtain credit, creditors view your credit file to make sure that you are a good risk. If you have a low credit score, you may have trouble getting a loan, credit card, affordable insurance, or even a job. Keeping track of your credit file is easy; there are several online companies offering free credit reports. Checking your credit annually will help you keep a close eye on your finances, and quickly determine if there is incorrect, out-of-date, or fraudulent information.

Step 1 – Choose Your Credit Reporting Agency

There are three main online credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. These agencies have access to your credit information and history. To view your free credit file, simply visit an agency website and fill out the required information.

Your free credit file allows you to view your complete credit history, but not your credit score. If you would like to view your score, you’ll have to pay a fee. Simply by reviewing your credit history, though, you should get a good idea of your overall credit score. If all of your accounts are in good standing, you most likely have a high credit score and will be eligible for loans, credit cards, and lower insurance rates.

Step 2 – Fill Out The Required Information

A credit reporting agency requires that you verify certain personal information to view your free credit file. You’ll need to supply such information as:
  • full name
  • current address
  • previous address (if you’ve lived in your current residence less than 2 years)
  • valid email address
  • Social Security number
Before you can view your free credit profile, you’ll need to generate a username and password for your account. You may be asked to supply credit card information when registering. However, you will not be charged for the free trial, which gives you plenty of time to review your file. If you cancel your account before the trial ends, you will not be charged to view your credit report.

Step 3 – Review Your Report

Once you’ve gained access to your free credit file, carefully review the file to ensure that all information is accurate. Verify personal information and account names and statuses. Look to see if there is any suspicious activity or if there is an account opened in your name that you do not recognize.

Step 4 – Address Any Issues

If you see suspicious activity or incorrect information, address the issue immediately. To resolve any errors to your file, you can write a letter of dispute to the agency notifying them of the issue. If your dispute is verified, your credit file will be cleared of errors within 30 days. This will help raise your credit score to its rightful standing.

Step 5 – Recheck Your File

Set a reminder to check your free credit file again after one year. If, during that year, you suspect possible identity theft or stolen personal information, check your credit file immediately. The sooner you address errors or fraudulent information, the sooner you can correct it and protect yourself from further damage.