Prisoners can get a free credit report

Dear Experian,

I am the community outreach director for a credit counseling agency. During a presentation at a federal prison, the inmates had questions about how to obtain their free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. They are not always successful. Is there a way for them to be successful in obtaining their credit report?



Dear IMB,

Providing reports to individuals who are currently incarcerated creates unique challenges. However, a person who is in prison can receive their free reports. They may just need to send some additional documentation.

If a report cannot be provided directly through http://www.annualcreditreport.com/, the individual should have received instructions for submitting their request in writing. In order to receive their report, the incarcerated individual will need to provide the information specified and mail it to the address provided.

Because their report can’t be sent to the home address listed in the file, in addition to the documentation required for a normal request, they will also need to include a letter from the warden, on the institution’s letterhead, verifying they are currently incarcerated at the institution.

Once provided with the necessary documentation which is for their protection, Experian will mail the report.

Those who are able to get their reports directly online probably have requested their reports in the past and so have already provided the necessary documentation. Because their identity and residence has been verified, Experian is able to provide the report online.

Thanks for asking.

- The “Ask Experian” team

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