Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Get a Copy of My Credit Reports




By far, the most frequently asked question received at bcsalliance.com is "where do I get a copy of my credit report?"  Many people are confused because so many websites are offering free credit reports, but require consumers to sign up for credit monitoring or other services that cost a lot of money just to get a free credit report.  I will tell you how to get a truly free no strings attached credit report and you can thank former President George W. Bush for your free credit report.  President Bush thought people should receive one free copy of their credit reports each year, so when he was president, he had a law passed requiring the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- to give all consumers a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months.  To comply with this law, the three credit bureaus created a website where consumers could get their free credit reports online.  The website address is http://www.annualcreditreport.com.  Now this doesn't mean that the credit bureaus aren't going to try and get some money from you.  If you visit the site and order your credit reports you will see buttons that try and get you to order your "free credit score" and credit monitoring and other services.  You don't really need any of these services.  The credit scores they offer at this site are the credit bureau credit scores and NOT the FICO credit score that lenders use to approve your home and auto loans and new credit cards, although the credit bureaus' credit scores are probably not that different from the FICO score.  

When you visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com you will have to order your three different credit reports separately.  Each time you finish ordering from one credit bureau you need to click the link that takes you back to the annualcreditreport.com website to order the next one.