Your credit report has a lot of power over your daily life - whether that's when you go to get a new car or are applying for an apartment. In addition to using credit responsibly, keeping an eye on your credit report is one of the most valuable things you can do to make sure your financial house is as stable as possible.
There are three credit reporting agencies for consumer credit in the United States:
Each and every one of them is required by law to give you a copy of your credit report for free once every 12 months. Unfortunately, this does not happen automatically; you have to request it.
There are three ways to request your credit report:
(1) Online at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only online provider of credit reports that is authorized to do so by the federal government specifically for this purpose.
(2) By calling (877) 322-8228 and making the request over the telephone
(3) By mailing this request form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You don't have to get all three credit reports at the same time. To learn more about your rights with respect to your credit report, check out the information provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on this topic.