Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, everyone is entitled, once every 12 months, to a free copy of his or her credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experían. Note that the credit reporting companies are not required to send out reports annually; you must request your report.
Requests may be made online, by calling a toll-free telephone number, or by mail.
Any credit reports you request from the credit reporting agencies directly, or any other source, may require a fee. Even companies that advertise "free" reports are often using the reports as lures to pull consumers into additional for-fee services, such as credit monitoring, that you may not want or need. AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY federally-mandated source for obtaining the free credit information.
Finally, be careful about disclosing your personal information. If you choose to order your reports online, make sure you are on a secure website when you are entering your information. Also, you can – and should – request that only the last four digits of your social security number appear on the reports when they are mailed to you. This can help protect you from identity theft should your mail end up in the wrong hands.