The Safe, Free Way to Check Your Credit Each Week During Coronavirus
May 21, 2020
By Amy Frankman
You can check your credit report for free each week during the coronavirus pandemic.
Between now and April 2021, the nation's three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) have announced they'll let Americans run a free credit report on a weekly basis. Normally, each agency only allows one free credit check per year (because they're required by law). But this new offer is part of a national effort to help Americans manage their finances while dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.
How to order a free credit report
To get your free reports, go to the government's approved website at AnnualCreditReport.com. This the ONLY source authorized by Federal law for free credit reports. Other websites that claim to offer “free credit reports” or “free credit monitoring”are not federally approved, and in some cases might be trying to scam you or sell you services with strings attached.
Also, do not contact the three credit reporting companies individually. The only place they offer their free service is through the Annual Credit Report website. Or, if you'd rather make a phone call, you can request a free credit report by calling the Annual Credit Report hotline at 1-877-322-8228.
You can also complete a printable version of the Annual Credit Report Request Form (PDF) and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Why should you check your credit report?
Reviewing your credit is a great way to stay on top of your finances, for two main reasons:
1. To make sure your credit is healthy and accurate. It's important to verify that your credit report is correct and up-to-date. Why? Because Banks look at the same information whenever you apply for a mortgage, personal or auto loan, insurance plan — or sometimes even a new job.
2. To guard against identity theft. If fraud is taking place, it’s critical to act quickly. Checking your credit report is a good way to make sure a criminal hasn’t opened a credit card or loan in your name.
What if you find an error on your credit report?
If you see a mistake on your credit report, you are allowed to submit an official dispute to the credit reporting agencies. There is no fee for filing a dispute, and you can do it either online or by mail.
Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website for more information on how to dispute an error on your credit report.
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