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.
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AnnualCreditReport.com is a website developed by the three major credit reporting agencies to provide consumers with free access to their credit reports. Here's what you need to know about how AnnualCreditReport.com works and how to review your credit reports using the platform.
What Is AnnualCreditReport.com?
AnnualCreditReport.com, or ACR for short, is a website that provides consumers with free access to all three of their credit reports. The website was created in a joint venture between Experian, TransUnion and Equifax following the passage of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, in 2003.
ACR allows consumers to retrieve a copy of each of their three credit reports every 12 months at no cost. During the coronavirus pandemic, the company that administers ACR, Central Source LLC, announced that consumers could get free access to their credit reports weekly through December 2022.
You can view your credit reports to make sure your credit profile is up to date and free of inaccuracies. Reviewing your credit report also helps you pinpoint areas of your credit history where you can make improvements to increase your credit score. These steps are particularly helpful if you're getting ready to apply for a credit card or loan—especially a large loan like a mortgage or car loan.
How to Get Your Credit Report From AnnualCreditReport.com
When you first visit the ACR website, you can use the menu to learn about how credit reports work, what to look for as you read yours, how to protect your identity and more. But if you're just looking to access one or more of your credit reports, here are the steps to take:
- Click on the red button that says "Request your free credit reports."
- Fill out the form, which will ask for your name, date of birth, Social Security number and current and previous addresses.
- Determine which reports you want.
- Answer a few questions to verify your identity.
- Review the report online or save or print it to view it in the future.
Note that it's a good idea to be strategic about how you check your credit reports using ACR. If you're planning to obtain credit to buy a home or a car soon, it may make sense to request all of your credit reports because your reports are not all identical. You may find something you believe to be inaccurate on one that isn't on the other two, for example.
But if you're just checking to stay up to date, it might make more sense to spread out your requests with one credit report every four months, so you don't have to wait too long between requests. (Remember, however, that you can check all three of your reports weekly for the remainder of 2022.)
Also, keep in mind that you'll lose access to your report or reports if you close your browser tab and don't save or print the report, so be sure to do that.
Can I Get a Credit Score From AnnualCreditReport.com?
ACR doesn't provide access to any of your credit scores because FACTA only specifies that consumers should receive free access to their credit reports from the major credit bureaus.
You can get access to your FICO® Score☉ through Experian's free credit monitoring service. With free credit monitoring, you'll also be able to get access to your Experian credit report anytime, along with real-time alerts when changes are made to your report.
This credit monitoring service can provide more consistent access to your credit profile and make it easier to respond to inaccuracies, identity theft and other issues more quickly.
You may also be able to get free access to your FICO® Score through your bank or credit card company, though you may not get as much information about what's influencing your score and how to improve it.
Is AnnualCreditReport.com Safe?
ACR is authorized by federal law and administered by the three national credit reporting agencies. The website is safe and secure and takes special precautions to make sure that only you can access your credit reports. If you need to review your credit reports before obtaining credit or just to evaluate your credit profile, you can rest assured that your personal information is safe.