The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to a free credit report in certain circumstances: you’ve been turned down for a product or service based on information in your credit report, you’re unemployed and you plan to look for a job, you receive welfare or government assistance, or you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
Ordering Your Free FCRA Credit Reports Online
Both Equifax and TransUnion allow you to order your free FCRA credit report online. Experian allows you to order an adverse action credit report online if they can verify the name of the company and date of your adverse action. Otherwise, you must order your free FCRA credit reports from Equifax online.
Limited Adverse Action Credit Reports
In the case of adverse action (where you’ve been turned down for a credit card, loan, or other service), you can only order a free credit report from the credit bureau who provided the report used in that decision. For example, if the lender viewed your Equifax credit report and denied a loan because you had too many open accounts, you’re only entitled to a free credit report from Equifax. This adverse action credit report must be ordered within 60 days.
Ordering Your Annual Credit Reports
These free credit reports granted under the FCRA are different from your annual credit report that you get every year. You do not have to receive welfare, have an adverse action, or be a victim of identity theft to get your annual credit report each year from AnnualCreditReport.com.