How Often can I get a Free Credit Report?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2019
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The frequency at which you can obtain a free credit report will depend on how and why you are requesting it. In the United States, you can request one from each of the national credit reporting agencies at least once per year. You may also request a report each time you are denied credit because of your credit history.

In the U.S., you may get one credit report each year, from each national credit-reporting bureau, without spending a dime. Upon your request, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian must each provide you with one free credit report every 12 months. You may request it online, over the phone, or by mail.

You could request a credit report from each credit bureau at the same time. However, it may be advantageous to spread your requests out, obtaining a different one every few months. In doing so, you may find it easier to stay abreast of changes in your credit file.


If you are denied credit, you have the right to receive a copy of your credit report for free. A company that denies you credit, for this reason, must provide you with information regarding the credit-reporting agency it used to evaluate your credit. You must request your report from that particular credit-reporting agency. After you receive this information, you have a 30-day period in which to make your request. If you allow more than 30 days to pass, you can still get your credit report; however, you may have to pay for it.

Keep in mind that you may find information on one credit report that is not present on a report from another agency. This is due to the fact that credit bureaus are not required to share or list the same information. As such, it is wise to obtain a report from each agency, especially if you will be applying for a large amount of credit in the near future.

To receive your free credit report, you will have to verify your identity. Generally, you will be asked to provide your current contact information, birth date, and Social Security number. You may also have to provide previous addresses and other identification as part of the verification process.

If you live outside the United States, you may be able to obtain a free credit report by signing up for a trial membership with a credit reference agency or a finance-related company. In the United Kingdom, however, you may also obtain one free online credit report each year. As credit reporting laws differ with each country, you can expect the process for obtaining a report to be a bit different, depending on where you live.


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Discuss this Article

Post 9

@anon247543: I'm betting they mean once every calendar year, or once every 12 months. In other words, if you got your credit report in say, June of last year, you'll need to wait until this June before you can request another free report.

Post 8

I have not checked my credit report this year and when I went to check it it said that I could not access it because I had already used my one free time a year check. I have not used it and it is February. Does that mean someone else checked it?

Post 7

Response to Rogerp: "I was told that whenever you or anyone else checks the credit report, your score goes down a point or two. People should be aware of that also."

That is not entirely true. I think that you can get three credit reports each year without affecting your score and companies that do a credit check on you without asking you (like the credit card applications you get in the mail) do not bring down your score. However, if you request your three free credit scores and try to take out a loan or something within the same year, then the fourth credit check (for your loan) should bring down your score a bit. (I think it is 10 points per credit check).

Post 6

So someone fraudulently created credit card accounts against me, so I requested the free credit report. Several months passed and it has happened again and now they want to charge me again. Since they aren't doing the blocking I requested, can I get another free report and how do I convince them they are required to do so?

Post 5

Checking your credit report for free from the 3 major credit bureaus annually is something everyone should do. Sure, you have to give them all of your personal information the first time the report is ordered; but this is to ensure that the information lands in the proper hands. With identity theft at an all time high, you can't lose. Also, there could be erroneous information and/or a mixed up credit file, etc. that you will pay for in the form of higher interest rates when you buy a car, house, apply for a credit card, etc. Besides, don't you want to see what everybody else is looking at in regards to you & your credit?

Post 4

I was told that whenever you or anyone else checks the credit report, your score goes down a point or two. People should be aware of that also.

Post 3

In my experience, you don't really get anything for free. If you request one of those so-called free reports, you have to give in return your entire life history, replete with loads of personal details that most folks would prefer to keep to themselves. I only wanted to know what they already knew, not provide them with every last detail they didn't already have, so I didn't get my free report. But everybody else out there, including the nosy neighbor, can get my report for free, without providing any details at all. That ain't fair! Maybe next time I'll pretend to be that neighbor!

Post 1

When requesting your credit report on line, make sure you are on the right site for your free credit report. You do not want to be charged for something that you are entitled to get free once a year.

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