It’s a good idea to check your credit report at least once per year. That’s especially true if you’ve filed a bankruptcy, because creditors often drop the ball in reporting that a debt has been discharged through bankruptcy. That can cause problems later on for consumers who are trying to put their financial lives back together and want to apply for credit or financing. Fortunately, all consumers can check their credit reports free of charge once per year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. There are three ways to request your free credit report:
- Go to www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the official free site setup by the three major credit reporting bureaus to provide consumers with free copies of their credit report as required by law. Fill in the information and request your reports. You can either print the report or save it as a PDF on your computer. If you print it, be aware that some reports are as long as 40-50 pages. If your answers to security questions don’t match what the agency has on file, it may be unable to provide you with reports online. If that happens, just try one of the other methods.
- Call 1-877-322-8228 to order a report by phone. After completing a verification process, the report will be mailed to you. Reports typically take a couple of weeks to receive, but sometimes arrive sooner.
- Request a copy of your credit report by mail. Download and fill out a copy of the official request form, then mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Expect the same 2-3 week waiting period to receive your report by mail.