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You Get Three Free Annual Credit Reports

This article was written by in Credit. 22 comments.

Since September 1, 2005, people in my area of the country have been entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each credit reporting agency. Last year, I got my report a few days early, avoiding the “rush.” I had planned to space my requests evenly throughout the year, by getting one every four months, but that avoided my radar. I finally got around to requesting my free credit report today. (I may have been subconsciously reminded to do so by MyMoneyBlog’s recent credit check.)

(Make sure you go to annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports. Searching online could deliver you to one of many copycat sites that will try to charge you. Even by using the free site, you have to dodge “special offers,” but annualcreditreport.com is the real deal.)

While last year’s report from Experian listed two “potentially negative items,” today’s from Equifax lists none. I’m in the clear. The only “hard inquiry” on my credit in the last year is from Scottrade, who checked my credit when I moved my brokerage account from fee-happy Wachovia to the more wallet-friendly discount brokerage.

The new credit report is still printing at this moment (28 pages!) but I’ll soon file it away with my previous.

I don’t bother with my credit score. It costs money to retrieve and as long as I stay smart, it will never be a problem.

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published March 29, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jonathan

I always just print it out to a PDF file and e-mail it to myself. It’s easier for me and I’m too cheap to spend that much ink on a credit report!

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avatar John Koontz

I’ve been doing the every four month thing since the free credit reports started. I put in a reminder on Outlook so I don’t forget to check it.

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avatar Luke Landes

Good idea, John — I just added it to my calendar.

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avatar Inchoate Random Abstractions

Thanks for the reminder. I ordered mine last year around this time. And do you guys ever sleep?

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avatar Hazzard

I’ve also been trying to do the every 4 months plan, but I have had trouble remembering. I think I will add it to Outlook as well. I could care less what my credit score is. I figure that as long as my report is clean, the score is whatever it is. (I’m not going to try to increase it even if it’s low, although I know that it’s pretty high based on the credit that I qualify for)

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avatar empty spaces

I always get my credit report from a loan broker. since i do atleast 5 loans a year i get to check every other month.

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