Unless you’re under age 21, and even sometimes then, it’s very likely you already have a credit history. So the first step in managing your credit history is getting a copy of your credit report.
There are three primary companies in the U.S. that produce credit reports: Equifax, TransUnion, Experian.
You’re entitled to a free credit report from each credit reporting agency at least once a year, and it’s recommended you do this through the Federal Trade Commission’s simple one-stop service in one of three ways:
- Submit a request online at www.annualcreditreport.com; or
- Call toll-free: 877-322-8228; or
- Complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P. O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
At any time, you can also get a free credit report if:
- You’re denied credit, insurance, or employment based on your credit report;
- You’re unemployed and looking for work;
- You’re receiving public assistance; or,
- Your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
If you’re ineligible for a free annual report, you can purchase your report directly from the three reporting agencies, for up to $10.00 per copy:
Equifax: 800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com
Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) or www.experian.com
TransUnion: 800-916-8800 or www.transunion.com