Is AnnualCreditReport.com Safe?

Quick Answer

AnnualCreditReport.com is an official site and a safe and free way to check your credit reports from the three major consumer credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

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Through December 31, 2022, 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.

AnnualCreditReport.com is a safe website that you can use to request your credit reports from the three major consumer credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can get free copies of your credit reports from other sources, but AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site for requesting your free annual credit report. It's also giving everyone free weekly credit reports through the end of 2022.

How AnnualCreditReport.com Protects Your Data

The three credit bureaus sponsor Central Source LLC, the company that's in charge of maintaining AnnualCreditReport.com.

When you use AnnualCreditReport.com, you'll need to share your personal information, including your name, Social Security number, date of birth and address to request your credit report. The website uses "physical, electronic and procedural safeguards" to help protect the private and personal information you share.

The site has an SSL certification, which is indicated by the "s" in the "https" in your browser's address bar. SSL creates an encrypted connection between your device and the website's servers, which can help keep people from snooping on the information you're sending.

Once AnnualCreditReport.com receives your information, it encrypts everything before sending it to the relevant credit bureau to request your credit report.

Additionally, the credit bureau that you're requesting your credit report from may ask a series of verification questions. These can help keep other people from using AnnualCreditReport.com to request a copy of your credit reports.

Watch Out for Credit Report Scams

While AnnualCreditReport.com is a safe way to get a copy of your credit report, scammers may try to trick you into entering your personal information on look-alike websites. They can then collect your personal information and possibly sell it or use it to steal your identity.

The look-alike sites may have a nearly identical URL, and the scammers may even copy the exact images and wording from the authentic website. You might wind up on one of these phishing sites after clicking on a link from another website. Or, you might receive an email that looks like it's coming from the website (a "spoofed" email) with a link to the scammer's website.

Be similarly suspicious of other websites that ask for your personal information and claim they'll give you a free copy of your credit report. While there are legitimate companies that offer these services, some are scams.

Also, beware that scammers can get SSL certifications for their websites, so the certification isn't always an indication of safety. While your connection is encrypted, you could still be sending your encrypted personal information to a criminal.

If you want to use the website to request your credit reports, the safest option is to enter (or copy and paste) https://www.AnnualCreditReport.com directly into your browser.

Check Your Credit Report With Experian

While AnnualCreditReport.com is legitimate and safe, you can get free copies of your credit reports from other trusted sources. For example, rather than using AnnualCreditReport.com to request a copy of your Experian credit report, you can go directly to Experian's website. There, you can get your free Experian credit report, a free credit score based on the report (AnnualCreditReport.com's reports don't include credit scores) and free credit monitoring.

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 April 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.