When you can get free credit reports

Dear Experian,

If I were denied credit recently, am I able to get a free copy of my credit to see what’s on it? I’ve already had my free credit report for this year.



Dear MJC,

The free annual credit report is separate from a free credit report when your application has been declined.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT Act) allows you to get a free credit report from each of the national credit reporting companies once every 12 months at

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to get additional free credit reports from one or all of the national credit reporting companies directly from each company’s Web site for several other specific reasons:

  • When your application is declined, you can get a free credit report from the credit reporting company that provided the report used by the lender as part of its decision.
  • If you are unemployed and seeking employment
  • If you are receiving public welfare assistance
  • If you have reason to believe you are a fraud victim

Some states have laws that entitle you to one or more additional free reports beyond the free annual credit report and the reasons specified in the FCRA.

Thanks for asking.


- The “Ask Experian” team

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