Need a free credit report, but don’t want to to enter your credit card information, or sign-up for one of those “free trials” to get it? There is only one source for truly free credit reports, no trials or catches, ever…
AnnualCreditReport.com – All 3 Credit Reports Once Per Year
AnnualCreditReport.com is the official, federally mandated website for accessing your free annual credit report. Now all US residents are eligible to view their credit report from all 3 of the credit reporting companies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
At www.AnnualCreditReport.com, you are not required to enter your credit card information to view your credit reports, and no trial membership is involved either, it’s truly free. In fact, if you find yourself needing to enter your payment info to view your reports, you are at the wrong website! There are imitators out there, so be careful. If you are not sure if you are at the correct website, check and make sure the website address specifically starts with “www.annualcreditreport.com”.
The site is designed to give every US resident free and easy access to their credit report from all 3 agencies, once every 12 months, from a central source. All you have to do is enter your personal information to confirm your identity, then the website will lead you through the process of viewing all 3 of your credit reports individually at each credit reporting bureau’s respective website.
You can either view all reports at once, or you can stagger them over a period of 12 months, then start the process over again at that point. I personally like to view all three at one time so I can compare them, but many people prefer to access just one every 4 months so they feel like they are keeping a closer eye on their credit. The choice is yours.
For more specific info on this topic, read my full review of AnnualCreditReport.com
Viewing Your 3 Free Credit Scores
While accessing your credit reports is completely free at annualcreditreport.com – your credit scores are not included with the annual credit report offer, and will cost extra from each of the “big 3″ reporting companies.
After you have viewed all 3 of your credit reports from that site, and you still want a free credit score, I suggest signing up for for a credit monitoring service called Identity Guard - which does include your 3 free credit scores with your free trial.
With your free credit monitoring trial, your credit card information is needed to sign up, but the bonus is you can view your credit scores, absolutely free.
You won’t be charged any up front fees, you will only be charged a small monthly free (such as $17.99/month), if you don’t cancel the credit monitoring service before your free trial is up. If you don’t like the service they provide, just call and cancel it. You will not be charged anything, and you still walk away with your Free Credit Scores just for giving it a try. Not bad huh?
I am a member of Identity Guard and have been for several years – read my review of Identity Guard here.
Here’s what I recommend
- Get your 3 free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com
- Sign-up for a free 30-day trial of Identity Guard to get all 3 free credit scores and daily credit report monitoring - cancel your account before your free trial expires if you just want your scores and not the premium credit monitoring/ID theft features they provide.
- Use Credit Sesame and/or Credit Karma for monthly score tracking. Both services are free, the thing is they just provide your credit score from only 1 credit bureau – not all 3 like Identity Guard.
- Enjoy your free credit reports and scores!
More on these services…
Identity Guard – Premium Credit Monitoring and ID theft Protection
Identity Guard (Visit Site – Read Review) provides best-in-class credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. At sign-up, along with instant access to your 3 free credit scores, your 3 credit reports will be monitored on a daily basis for signs of fraud or ID theft. They will also monitor the internet black markets for your personal credit accounts being posted which could lead to fraud – they back up their service with a $1,000,000 guarantee.
They offer a 30 day free trial – which means you can sign up and try out their service for a full month (and get your 3 free credit scores along with it). If it turns out that you don’t like it, just cancel and pay nothing. You get to keep your 3 free credit scores just for trying it out!
Credit Sesame – Free Experian Credit Score & Monitoring
With Credit Sesame, your membership is always free, no credit card needed. Upon sign-up, you will receive your actual free Experian credit score, along with basic credit 1-bureau credit monitoring. With this one, even though it is free, be ready to see plenty of ads for various things such as credit monitoring services (not in an annoying way though, off to the side mostly). Considering this service is 100% free for life, it’s worth it!
Credit Sesame also provides tools and tips on improving your credit score, as well as credit score tracking feature which is especially useful if you are trying to raise your score to a certain level. Not only do they help you with your credit, but also your money and budget too. Check out Credit Sesame, you won’t regret it.
Credit Karma – Free TransUnion Credit Score and Report Card
With your 100% free Credit Karma membership (no credit card needed), you get what they call a “credit report card”, not an actual credit report, but they will access your credit report on your behalf, and give you letter grades on different areas of your report, to let you know how you are doing and what you might need to improve on. This can be useful after you have access your reports from AnnualCreditReport.com and need more info how what everything means and what you need to do to improve your credit.
The advantage to Credit Karma and Credit Sesame is that they also provide you with your credit score at no charge. The disadvantage is, because they are free, you will be presented with many ads such as credit card offers, mortgage, and credit monitoring services (they have bills to pay too).
I hope you take advantage of all these free services to help you stay on top of your credit. If you have any thoughts or experiences to share about any of this, I’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.
As always, have a great day… and stay informed!