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Free Government Credit Report

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By now most consumers know about the "free government credit reports" that they are entitled to under the FCRA. However, some people may not realize that there are actually multiple ways to get your credit reports for free. We're going to cover them now.

Through laws enacted by the U.S. government, every consumer has the right to a free credit report from each credit bureau once per year.

To get your "free annual credit report" from the three major credit bureaus you need to use the official Annual Credit Report Service. You can get your "free government credit report" for the year from the Annual Credit Report Service in one of three ways:

1. By calling the Annual Credit Report Service at 1-877-322-8228.

2. By sending the Annual Credit Report Request Form to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO BOX 105281
ATLANTA GA 30348-528

3. By visiting the annual credit report website at

If you don't qualify for the free annual credit report, you may still be able to get your credit reports for free under current FCRA regulations.

There are several circumstances under which you can get a free credit report. They are:

1. When you have been turned down for credit or otherwise received an "adverse notice".

  • Under section 612(b) of the FCRA, if you have been denied credit or received notice from a collector that your credit rating may be or has been adversely affected, you have a right to request a free copy of your credit report. You just have to do it within 60 days of the "adverse notice."

2. You can get a free copy of your credit report by placing a fraud alert on your credit file. (FCRA Section 612(d))

3. Under Section 612(c) of the FCRA you can get a free copy of your credit report once during any 12 month period by requesting one and by certifying that you...

  • Are unemployed, and that you intend to apply for employment within 60 days; or
  • Are on welfare; or
  • Have reason to believe that your credit file contains inaccurate information due to fraud.

Remember that if you don't qualify for a free copy of your credit report, it isn't the end of the world. You can still obtain them from each of the three major credit bureaus by paying a nominal fee. To obtain non-free copies of your credit reports, call Experian at 1-888-397-3742, Equifax at 1-800-685-1111, and TransUnion at 1-866-726-7388. You can also obtain your reports with scores from or (Note that currently FICO only supplies scores for two bureaus.)


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