If you were planning on paying for a service that allows you to see your credit report, then you should know that you can get a free credit report every week from annualcreditreport.com, which is a website run by the three major credit bureaus.
And yes, the website’s name is misleading. But only because Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion used to limit people to one free credit report per year before the 2020 global pandemic. This means that you could have been getting a free credit report every week since April 2020.
How Do You Get a Free Weekly Credit Report?
1. Fill out a form
Fill out a form with information that includes but is not limited to your full name, social security number, current and previous address, and date of birth.
2. Select the credit bureaus you’d want to receive a credit report from
You’ll need to choose from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. You can even select all three or any combination of them.
3. Answer follow-up questions
The questions are designed to ensure that only you can get access to your credit information. You may also need to provide your records in order to confirm your identity.
4. Review, save, and print your credit reports
You can also request your credit reports to be in: Braille, Large Print, and Audio Formats in the website’s Accessibility Page. After mailing your request, you should receive your custom credit reports in 3 weeks.
Isn’t the Weekly Credit Report Only Until December 2023?
If you’ve been closely following the latest credit bureau news (unusual hobby but more power to you), you’d know that the free weekly credit report wasn’t supposed to be a permanent thing.
The weekly credit report feature of the Nationwide Credit Reporting Agencies (NCRAs) was created to help alleviate the financial burden that the COVID-19 pandemic caused.
By keeping people constantly informed about the changes in their credit reports, they’ve empowered Americans to take the necessary steps to prevent their credit scores from slipping further.
This worked so well that the original deadline for this free service was moved from April 2021 to December 31, 2022, then moved again to December 31, 2023.
Finally, on September 18, 2023, the NCRAs announced that the free weekly credit report is now a permanent feature of the website: annualcreditreport.com.
Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax; Brian Cassin, CEO of Experian; and Chris Cartwright, CEO of TransUnion had this to say about their decision:
“The ongoing availability of free weekly credit reports is another way that our industry is supporting consumers as they make financial decisions.”
They also stated that regularly checking your credit history and understanding your current credit position can help you prepare for important future financial milestones.
Why do the Credit Bureaus Provide Free Credit Reports?
The three major credit bureaus are legally required to provide free credit reports according to section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is why they have been providing free annual credit reports even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
This also means that there is no need to pay for a service that will allow you to view your credit report. Since the major credit bureaus have always offered that service for free.
Why Do You Need to Check Your Credit Report Weekly?
Your credit report contains factual records of your credit activity and your payment history. While this is often used by lenders and financial service providers to make informed decisions, your credit report can also be used to your advantage.
By checking your credit report consistently, you can quickly find and dispute inaccurate information. Routinely checking your credit history allows you to spot suspicious activity that often leads to identity theft.
But more importantly, knowing how you’ve managed your finances in the past can help you avoid previous mistakes, and make more informed decisions going forward.
Quickly seeing the consequences of missed payments can also help you stay motivated and organized. After all, the sooner you notice the issues in your credit history, the sooner you can take the necessary actions to remedy the problem.
The three credit bureaus now provide free weekly credit reports at annualcreditreport.com. This was a feature that was only supposed to be available until Dec 31, 2023 but is now available permanently.
In order to get your free weekly report, you just need to go to the website, fill out the form, select which credit bureaus you want a report from, and then answer questions to confirm your identity.