In this video I show you how to get a free credit report in under 4 minutes. I also show you how to get a free credit report every 4 months for free.
We need to check our credit reports once every year. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only website authorized by Federal Law to get you a free credit report. Many of the other sites use free credit reports as a way to entice you to purchase their monthly credit monitoring plan or purchase your credit score. By checking your credit report for free every 4 months you don’t need to purchase your score or sign up for a monthly monitoring fee, you just need to check to see that everything on your report is accurate.
Go to AnnualCreditReport.com, click on Request your free credit reports (you will also do this on the next page)
Step 1: Fill out a form
Fill out the information requested on the next page including
- Social Security number
- Previous address (if lived in current address less than 2 years)
- Enter the Captcha code
- Click Next
If you are sight-impaired or have problems with Captcha codes like I do then click on the “use audio CAPTCHA Security” link and follow the instructions
Step 2: Pick the reports you want
There are three major credit reporting agencies. These are privately owned, for-profit entities selling their services to lenders and consumers. They comply with the Federal Law by allowing consumers (us) to get a copy of our credit report for free by going through AnnualCreditReport.com.
Select which (or as many) of the companies you want
I recommend you select one in April, another in August, and the last in December. This allows you to get a copy of your credit report 3 times a year.
Step 3: Answer security questions
You will be asked to enter the last 4 digits of your social security number before reviewing your “order”.
The next page will ask you to verify your identity by answering multiple choice questions. This ensures you are the only person who can access your report.
Step 4: Review your report
You are now able to review your report. Look for anything out of the ordinary like old accounts that are not showing as closed, accounts that you have never opened, or negative payment history that is showing as late or defaulted.
I suggest you print a copy and/or save it as a PDF.
Step 5: Take action
If you find inaccuracies then it’s time to take action.
As you can see in the video, Experian has a blue button to Start a Dispute. Follow the directions to have any questionable items verified or taken off your report completely.
Credit report, not credit score
This is the only time I recommend spending any time and/or effort to improve your credit.
It is my opinion that simply paying your bills and debts on time is all it takes to have a good credit score.
Your credit score is entirely based on the items found on your credit report, so spending time researching the best credit card offers and taking out loans (debt) to increase your score is not beneficial to your net worth. Your time and effort is best used creating an income, spending time with family, or even walking the dog!
Pay attention to your credit history but please don’t pay interest to improve it! Now go and clean up your credit report (for free).