Get Copies of Your Credit Reports - dummies

Get Copies of Your Credit Reports

By John Ventura, Mary Reed

Your credit report contains information your current creditors and potential future lenders review to make decisions about your creditworthiness. You are entitled to one free copy of each of your credit reports every 12 months. To order your free reports, go to, or call 877-FACT-ACT.

For a comprehensive picture of your creditworthiness, order a copy of your credit report from each of the national credit reporting agencies, not just from one. Each report may contain slightly different information about you, in part because all creditors do not necessarily report all consumer account payment information to each of the three agencies.

The Annual Credit Report home page.

If you’ve already obtained copies of your free credit reports during a particular 12-month period, you must pay for additional copies. In most states, the cost is $10 per report. (Some states also charge a sales tax.) However, depending on your state, you may be entitled to pay less for additional copies of your credit reports. Call your state attorney general’s office to find out.

You are always entitled to a free credit report if

  • You are unemployed and intend to apply for a job within the next 60 days.

  • You are receiving public welfare assistance.

  • You believe that you have been the victim of identity theft.

  • You have been denied credit, employment, insurance, or a place to rent within the past 60 days because of information in your credit report

To order additional copies of your credit reports, contact the three credit reporting agencies individually. You can order the copies via the mail, by phone, or online. Here’s the ordering information you need:

  • Equifax: 800-685-1111; Disclosure Department, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374

  • Experian: 888-397-3742; P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013

  • TransUnion: 800-888-4213; P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022

If you order additional copies by mail, put your request in a letter, sign it, and include the following information:

  • Your full name (including Jr., Sr., III, and so on)

  • Your Social Security number

  • Your date of birth

  • Your current address and previous addresses for the past five years

  • Your phone number, including area code

  • The name of your current employer