The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the three major credit bureaus — Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion® — to provide you with a free credit report once a year upon request. You can access your Experian® credit report through Chase Credit Journey.
How do I get a free credit report?
You can get your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. You can request your credit report through the site or call 1-877-322-8228. You can order your credit report from individual bureaus or all three.
Why should I check my credit report?
Your credit report has information that can affect whether you're approved for a loan or credit card and the amount you'll be approved for. Getting a copy of your credit report is valuable to:
- Make sure the information is accurate, complete and updated before applying for a line of credit
- Help protect yourself from identity theft
Difference between credit reports and credit scores
While your credit score and credit report are related, they're not the same thing. Your credit score is a single three-digit number that signals your credit health to lenders and creditors. Your credit report doesn't include your credit score. The report, which includes credit activity, is used to calculate your credit score.
Does checking my credit report hurt my credit score?
Checking your credit report is a soft credit check so it doesn't affect your credit score. A soft credit check occurs when you check your own credit report or a creditor or lender checks your credit for pre-approval. A hard credit check occurs when a company checks your report when you apply for a line of credit.
Annualcreditreport.com is the only website legally authorized to fill orders for your free annual credit report. Any other website claiming to offer “free credit reports" could be falsely claiming to be part of the free annual credit report program. Be mindful of websites trying to trick you with subtle differences.
Information you need to provide to get your free yearly credit report
To get your free annual credit report, you need to provide:
- Your full name
- Current address (and/or previous address if you've moved in the past two years)
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
You also may be asked to provide information only you would know. Each credit bureau may ask you different questions, depending on what information of yours they have on file.
How long does it take to get your free credit report?
The amount of time it takes to get your free credit report depends on the way you go about getting it. If you make the request online, you should be able to access it quickly. If you order your credit report by phone or by mail, you should receive it in the mail within 15 days.
More information about free credit report eligibility
You could be eligible to receive a free credit report more than once a year under certain extenuating circumstances. Under the FCRA, you can receive one extra copy of your credit report for free within any 12-month period based on the Federal Trade Commission's standards.
How often should you check your credit report?
Experts recommend that you check your credit report at least once a year. Taking a full deep dive with a credit report to ensure no inaccuracies, make sure you know where you stand and use a monitoring service that keeps you informed. We can help you stay informed with a credit monitoring service. Sign up for Chase Credit Journey to help monitor your credit.
If you're planning to make a major purchase soon, or even in the somewhat distant future, you should regularly check up on your credit report. You want to make sure your report is as accurate as possible to get the best interest rates.