Learn How to Read Your Credit Report

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Through December 31, 2023, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

Dear Experian,

Do you have online booklets explaining how you can read a credit report?


Dear ECL,

You can find Experian's sample credit report online. The good news is that you don't need a booklet to explain how to read your report.

Experian's consumer credit report is designed to be easy to read and understand. It is in simple language with no strange abbreviations or coding. It is neatly organized into sections that are clearly identified and include explanations of the information in each section.

While it is easy and convenient to enter any disputes online, your personal credit report provides contact information including a toll-free telephone number to dispute any information you believe is inaccurate or to request assistance with other issues such as identity theft.

Obtaining your personal credit report before contacting Experian ensures you have the most recent information available, and the same information that our representatives will have, which helps us provide the most effective and efficient service.

You can obtain your personal report in a variety of ways. You are entitled to a free report once every 12 months under federal law. That report is available through http://www.annualcreditreport.com/.

You can also get a free report if you have had adverse action taken, such as having an application declined. Your lender will provide instructions to request your report from the credit reporting company it used in making its decision.

You also can request your report directly from Experian at www.experian.com/reportaccess. There may be a nominal fee if you do not qualify for a free credit report.

Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.