It’s no secret that your credit reports are incredibly influential. In addition to whether or not you’re going to obtain credit, they influence interest rates, credit limits, insurance premiums and even employment. Thankfully, there is no shortage of options to legally obtain copies of your credit reports from each of the national credit reporting agencies.
First, there’s the method regular readers of The Score will know: AnnualCreditReport.com, a website frequently recommended in these pages, was established through a 2003 amendment to The Fair Credit Reporting Act. The site gives everyone in the country the right to see all of his or her credit reports once every 12 months. Note that this is what’s known as a reactive right, which means you must take the initiative to benefit from it, by visiting the site once a year.
In addition to these free credit reports, you are entitled to additional free reports if:
The preceding list covers all the ways you can get free credit reports thanks to either federal or state laws. However, there are many other ways to obtain free copies of credit reports that have nothing to do with the law. Many websites will provide you with copies of your credit reports at no cost as long as you become a registered user of their site. These sites make money by displaying credit-related advertisements, so there’s no cost to you.
Incidentally, you also can get free copies of your VantageScore credit score at the foregoing four sites.