Articles > Building and Maintaining Credit

Order Your Free Credit Report

Don’t pay for a free report
What you need to access your report
How to obtain your report
What to do if you are having trouble accessing your report
Other types of reports

Paying for Your Report Isn’t Necessary

By law, you are entitled to three free credit reports every 12 months–one each from the three credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can now order a free weekly credit report online through April 2022.

You never need to provide a credit card number to obtain your free report. Websites that ask for a credit card number may bill you for your report. Each report contains the same basic information, and the process for obtaining each free report is the same. You could view all three reports at the same time, but we recommend reviewing one report every four months–perhaps Experian on 2/2, Equifax on 6/6, and TransUnion on 10/10 of each year. By spacing it out in that way, you have a better opportunity to make sure all of the information in your report is up-to-date.

Many websites claim to provide free credit reports but then end up charging you or signing you up for other services with high fees. and its related mailing address and phone number are the only official ways to receive the free credit reports you are entitled to by law. The credit reports you receive through Annual Credit Report contain the same information that other websites sell.

A 2012 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that only 36% of the credit reports consumers receive each year come from annual credit report–indicating that many Americans are paying for information they can obtain for free. By following the steps outlined on this website, you can do your own credit monitoring for free.

Please note that Annual Credit Report only provides your credit report, not your score. See the Report vs. Score page for more information.

What You Need to Access Your Report

  • Full Name
  • Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). If using an ITIN, you must mail a request form to the address below.
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Previous addresses from the past two years. We recommend having this information ready before starting and not relying on memory if you have moved several times. Entering wrong addresses can delay the process.

How to Obtain Your Report


  • The only website that provides the free credit reports you are entitled to by law.
  • Completely free and does not require you to subscribe to any services. Other websites charge for similar services and may even be scams.
  • Secure and safe, and only asks for information needed to verify your identity. Be careful of spam emails and websites that imitate Annual Credit Report.
  • Other websites that claim to be free often charge monthly fees of $15-$20 after a short trial period.
  • Through April 2022, you can order your free credit report online every week.


Print, fill out and mail this form to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Requests by mail may take two-three weeks for delivery.


(877) 322-8228

What to do if You Are Having Trouble Accessing Your Report

You may be asked to provide follow-up information in order to verify your identity. This is a common step and only takes a few extra minutes. Sometimes the online request system does not work or is not able to provide an online credit report if the information you answer in the verification quiz does not match information in the credit bureau system. In those cases, we recommend calling or mailing the request form.

If you have a problem with the credit agency and want to complain about Equifax, Transunion or Experian, you can file a formal complaint with state and federal regulatory agencies. The credit bureaus are regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

You can file complaints  with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, phone: 800-422-7128.
You can also file complaints  with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, phone: 855-411-2372. The CFPB has a special form and reporting process just for the credit agencies.

Other Types of Reports

In addition to your credit reports held by the three major credit bureaus, you may want to look up your personal data that is held by other reporting firms. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act gives you the right to one free report annually from a consumer reporting agency that compiles reports on employment, medical records, check writing, insurance, and housing rental history. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has developed a guide to consumer reporting companies that includes information about other types of reports and how to request them.

Additional Resources

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Key Dimensions and Processes in the U.S. Credit Reporting System

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