Gone are the days when consumers could only access their credit reports free of charge once a year. A significant change has taken place in the credit reporting landscape.
On September 18, the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies (NCRAs) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – made an announcement that brings relief to consumers. From now on, each of these agencies will consistently provide credit reports at no cost once a week.
Previously, under federal law, the NCRAs were obligated to furnish individuals with one free report annually. However, starting in 2020, in response to the financial strains caused by the pandemic, they began granting weekly access to these reports. This gesture was meant to assist consumers in navigating financial difficulties and was extended several times. Initially set to conclude at the close of 2023, the recent declaration has made this feature a permanent fixture.
In a collective statement, the leaders of these credit bureaus emphasized, “Understanding the critical part that credit reports have in individuals’ monetary matters, we urge consumers to consistently review their credit records.”
This move not only aids consumers in tackling the increasing incidents of identity theft and security breaches but also serves as a prompt for federal student loan borrowers to examine their credit reports as student loan forbearance concludes in October.
How to Obtain Your Complimentary Credit Reports
TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Study from the second quarter indicates that 43% of individuals check their credit less frequently than monthly. However, frequent review of your reports can enable timely detection of fraudulent activities, dispute inaccuracies, and identify opportunities to enhance your credit ratings.
Here’s how you can procure your free credit reports through the Annual Credit Report Request Service:
- Call 1-877-322-8228
- Mail an Annual Credit Report Request Form to: Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
It’s important to note that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) endorses the Annual Credit Report Request Service as the exclusive platform for obtaining credit reports, cautioning against other potentially fraudulent services that may impose fees.
While obtaining credit reports has become more straightforward, acquiring your credit scores can still pose a challenge. Certain creditors may provide free access to your scores, or you can utilize FICO’s free score estimator to approximate your score range. Additionally, free credit score monitoring can be accessed through FICO and Experian.
Navigating the World of Credit with Fair Credit Attorneys
At Fair Credit Attorneys, we understand the importance of accurate credit reporting in your financial journey. Our team is here to assist you in navigating disputes and ensuring that your credit report truly reflects your financial health. Feel free to reach out to us for any guidance and support in your credit reporting journey.