Set up by the three major credit bureaus, AnnualCreditReport.com offers you access to one free credit report per year from each company. However, you will need to look elsewhere for more comprehensive services like credit monitoring.
Truly free credit report
Although there are several places where you can access a free credit report online, only AnnualCreditReport.com gives you the reports with absolutely no strings attached. Many other sites require you to sign up for a trial of their credit monitoring service, charging you if you don’t unsubscribe before the trial is over. AnnualCreditReport.com was set up by the three credit bureaus in response to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. You’re eligible for one free report from each bureau once every 12 months, so if you haven’t looked at yours in the past year, AnnualCreditReport.com may be the perfect website for you.
Easy, instant access
You can apply for your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com by phone, by mail, or online. If you choose to do so online, you fill out personal information, including some identity verification questions, and you are able to view your report instantly. While some other websites offering free credit reports make you wait a few days, AnnualCreditReport.com gives you access to all of your reports in a matter of minutes.
Order free reports one at a time
AnnualCreditReport.com gives you two options: to view your three credit reports all at once or to space them out over the course of the year. Viewing them at the same time enables you to compare your information across the different reports. However, as most of the information in the reports is likely to be more or less the same, you might prefer to spread them out so you can stay apprised of any changes over the course of the year at no cost to you. Keep in mind that once you’ve ordered a report from a particular credit agency, you aren’t able to view that agency’s credit report for another 12 months.
Credit scores not included
Though AnnualCreditReport.com provides your credit reports for free, you have to pay extra to view your credit scores. If viewing your reports is all you need, AnnualCreditReport.com could still be the right choice. On the other hand, if you were hoping to see your scores or even get access to more comprehensive credit services, it might be better to go with one of the credit bureaus or MyFICO.
No credit monitoring
AnnualCreditReport.com was designed with the sole purpose of enabling consumers to view their credit reports for free, so it should come as no surprise that this site doesn’t offer any way to have your credit monitored. If you’re interested in this type of service, there are plenty of other credit report companies that provide credit monitoring. Some of these, like FreeCreditReport.com, also give you access to credit reports for free when you sign up.
Limited educational resources
Aside from an extremely basic FAQ, AnnualCreditReport.com doesn’t offer the helpful resources you typically find on other credit reporting sites. There are no articles explaining the factors that affect your credit reports and scores, or any information about how to improve your creditworthiness. This is a fairly minor criticism, but it would still be nice to see some of this information added to AnnualCreditReport.com so you don’t have to look for it elsewhere.
- Automatically Enrolled in Credit Monitoring: No
- Available Reports: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion
- Available Scores: None
- Length of Free Trial Period: N/A
- Monthly Monitoring Fee After Free Trial: N/A
- One-Time Credit Report Price: Free
- One-Time Credit Score Price: N/A
Triple-Bureau Credit Report
- Price: Free