There are many online sites that offer credit reports, some of them for free. The most important credit reports are ones from the three major companies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These three companies are nationwide services, and legally bound to provide you with a free report every year.
You can go directly to their company to request these, or to another website. There are many other online services that also offer free credit reports, but there may be strings attached which mean that they are not necessarily free. The only true free credit reports are available at the website provided.
There are a number of imposter websites that can use different tactics to get you to sign up to their service. They may use the words “free credit report” in the title, or change the spelling of annual credit report to catch consumers who enter the wrong URL. These website scams ask you for your credit card details, and sign you up to extra services, or free trials.
You may have to unsubscribe to these ‘free trials’ to avoid a monthly fee being debited from your credit card for an ongoing service that you do not require, or even know you have signed up for. Don’t be fooled by email offers. If you see a pop up advertisement, or are rung or emailed, or asked to give your credit card details, then the service you are using is not the legally mandated one, and will most likely have hidden costs attached.
Even when you approach the companies themselves directly, there is still a possibility that they will sign you up to free trials that evolve into paid for services. The only website that is guaranteed to be free with no strings attached is the one mentioned above, because they are required by federal law to provide this service free of charge.
You can order all three reports at the same time, or choose to request them throughout the year. By obtaining reports periodically you can better monitor your credit score at various intervals throughout the year. By being aware of your credit report, you can take action to improve your credit score over time.