How to Keep Tabs on Your Credit


Free Annual Report

An amendment to the FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

The three nationwide credit reporting agencies have set up one website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. To order, visit, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281


  • Do not contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies individually.
  • You may order your reports from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies at the same time, or you can order from only one or two. The FCRA allows you to order one free copy from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies every 12 months.
  • You need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If you have moved in the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. To maintain the security of your file, each nationwide credit reporting agency may ask you for some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information each has in your file may come from different sources.

Check Your Credit Report

Other Situations

A person is also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against them, such as denying their application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in their report. They must ask for their report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting agency.

A person also entitled to one free report a year if they’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if they’re on welfare; or if their report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft. Otherwise, a credit reporting agency may charge that person for another copy of their report within a 12-month period.