Under federal law, consumers are entitled to one copy of their credit report each year from each of the three national credit-reporting agencies, also called credit bureaus.
The three credit bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Consumers can access their credit report from any of the three by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
You will not see your credit rating (or credit score). Each credit bureau offers this information for between $5 and $10.
Why should you check your credit report? Two reasons: to ensure accuracy and to detect identity theft. Your credit report will list all active or recent accounts in your name, including credit cards, loans, possibly even utilities, as well as negative entries like late payments and bankruptcies. If an identity thief opens an account in your name, it should show up on your credit report.
Note: Beware of companies impersonating this service. Some companies will claim to offer a free credit report, but require a purchase or subscription to a service first. Using the above Web site and phone number is the only way to get a credit report with no strings attached.