How to Get a Free Credit Report

January 22, 2008

If you are interested in purchasing a home, buying a car, or getting a loan for any reason, your lender is going to ask you for the information necessary to get a credit report. Depending on the results of the report, you will be able to obtain a loan or be rejected. So, if you want to know before asking, you can get a free credit report.

Well, since I watch television, I am also subject to the ever-so-frequent commercials. I remember the advertisement for So, before writing this post, I decided to try it out for myself.

The entire process takes 5-10 minutes. You fill out a couple of questions to verify who you are, type in your social security number, and wait approximately one minute. Although it is very easy, and the reports are concise and simple to understand, I must admit it is disconcerting all the same.

In a matter of a minute, I had a record of where I have lived over the past 10 years. The computer knows things about me I couldn’t even remember. For example, when we lived overseas, my ex gave them his dad’s address as a permanent state-side address for legal purposes. Also, I was informed that I have purchased a car last October and the name of the Bank was one of my ID questions. No wonder ID theft is more prevalent today.

Anyway, the screen gave me information account by account. I know whether I am current on all of my loans or credit payments. I also know the exact total amount of my debt and the reason for the lender.

Then, I am told my ranking, compared to the general population in the United States. I am not sure if this is supposed to make me feel worse or better.

Finally, the report tells me my overall credit score. Below the score, it also states how they calculate the score so if its good you understand why and if not you know what’s necessary to improve your number.

Since it is free, I only got a score from one of the three credit sources. According to the results, the other two credit calculating agencies might have slightly different numbers. If I want to see their calculations, I need to pony up some cash. No thanks! I seriously doubt that it will be a significant enough discrepancy to matter.

Do you have other ideas on how to get a free credit report?



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18 Responses to How to Get a Free Credit Report

  • Jon

    I wouldn’t mind paying $5 or whatever for my real credit score (as reported by the various agencies). Why all the sign-up-for-continual-service sites?

  • Ken L


    I apologize that you didn’t find the site useful. With regards to the score, did you look at the compare page? The page gives perspective on how that score stacks against the US and other members. Also the idea is give you a single source to track your score over time for free. I tend to agree that a single number one time is not extremely insightful. But a month ago I applied for a new credit card and saw my score drop 6 points. That was useful to me since I could finally see a direct correlation between my actions and my score.

    As for the ads, we have to pay for the score that we provide for free. So it out of necessity to show advertising. We are still in beta this is the type of feedback we need for the official launch. Thank you for trying the service.

    Founder & CEO

  • Jake

    I tried and found the service pretty much useless. It’s nothing near my FICO score (I understand it’s the TransUnion score and the scale is different) but also the ads presented on the site were completely irrelevant and didn’t interest me at all. I hate to be so negative though, I should mention I like the design!

  • Ken L

    Great article. Wanted to introduce to a site call Credit Karma. This site provides free credit scores sponsored by advertising revenue rather than by negative opt out subscription.

    Please give it a try at I’m the founder. Let me know what you think.

    @Tina, would love your point of view.

    -Kind Regards

  • Colin Joss


    Does anybody know how long does it take for the reports to finish and arrive at our place?

    Colin Joss
    East Lothian, Haddington
    United Kingdom

  • Tina

    Wow! I have learned something! Thanks for letting me know.


  • Lily

    Hooray for the edit! 🙂

  • Colin Joss

    This is great! Thank you for the link. I’ll give it a try.

    Colin Joss
    East Lothian, Haddington
    United Kingdom

  • Ben

    Good point everyone, thanks for pointing it out. You can order it online at or call 1-877-322-8228 to request the credit report.

  • Jeremie B

    I agree with just using WAMU free credit report when you get their credit card. I remember signing up for and was on hold for like 15min. They make it nearly impossible to stop your contract that you end up giving up. Keep it simple and free and go with WAMU. Who knows, if everyone signs up with WAMU they might not go bankrupt 🙂

  • Jason

    I don’t bother with freecreditreport and the mandatory enrollment (in triple advantage I think?).

    Instead I just use the site set up in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act at . You can get all 3 of your reports free once per year. I get one every 4 months.

  • JB

    You can also visit –, they do the same thing with a better and easier service, plus it is a little cheaper since they don’t have to pay for those catchy commercials.

  • Chuck Reynolds

    Go to Absolutely free. I do it every 6 months or so and get a report from one of the three and alternate so I can keep getting that “allowed” 1 free one per year. But as far as I can tell each agency monitors their own so you can get 1 free a year from each one as far as I can tell.
    Good luck

  • Lily

    Um, you might want to be very careful using and advocating “” This is a site run by Experian to get people to sign up for Experian’s credit monitoring services. You need to call up and cancel within 30 days, or else you will be charged $15 per month for continued membership.

    In fact, this is the not-so-small print on’s homepage:

    When you order your free report here, you will begin your free trial membership in Triple AdvantageSM Credit Monitoring. If you don’t cancel your membership within the 30-day trial period, you will be billed $14.95 for each month that you continue your membership. and are not affiliated with the annual free credit report program. Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. To request your free annual report under that law, you must go to

    The only way to get free credit reports, no strings attached, is to go to, which allows you to get a free credit report from each of the 3 major reporting agencies each year. I get 1 report every 4 months by rotating between these agencies. You’ll also have to pay if you want to see your actual credit score, but you’ll get your reports completely free, no need to cancel anything.

    By the way, Experian was actually fined by the Federal Trade Commission for the FreeCreditReport site, whcih misled consumers into believing they were getting a free product when really they were signing up for a for-fee service.

    I suppose if you wanted a 4th free report (above and beyond what you can get at, you can use But you have to remember to cancel the service within 30 days, or you will be charged!

  • Jeremy

    Since you asked, will give you all three scores and reports for free.

    Just make sure to cancel the credit monitoring membership from and if you don’t want to be charged or use that service.

  • jeanjeanie isn’t really free. If you don’t cancel within thirty days, they’ll automatically start charging you $12.95 a month for their credit monitoring service. They don’t tell you this up front or make this information readily available. That’s really a shady, shady site. is the site set up by the three reporting agencies to provide the annual free credit report that’s required by law. It really is free. You don’t get your credit score, but you do get reports from all three agencies. A lot of people like to stagger them out over the year, checking one every few months, so they can keep an eye on their credit all year for free. That’s what I plan to do this year.

  • Sam

    I have a credit card with Washington Mutual for the sole purpose of keeping track of my credit score. At, you login and it shows you your credit score, a 12 month history of your credit score, how many revolving accounts you have open, and some tips to fixing your credit score. That is well worth opening an account with them, if you ask me.


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