Credit reports are free. More specifically, a credit report doesn’t have to cost you a thing. The major credit bureaus do sell their credit reports – for $1 to $16, often as part of a bundle with credit score access and credit monitoring. But there’s no reason to pay for any of that.
For one thing, everyone is entitled to a copy of their TransUnion, Equifax and Experian credit reports every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also get free daily credit report updates from WalletHub, along with free daily credit scores and free 24/7 credit monitoring. There are a number of other free credit report providers, too.
Plus, by law, you have the right to a free credit report if you are:
Rejected for credit, insurance or employment (your credit history must have influenced the decision; requests must be made within 60 days of being notified)
A victim of identity theft or fraud (requires placing a fraud alert on at least one credit report)
Receiving public welfare assistance
Unemployed (but plan to apply for employment within the next 60 days).
It’s also worth noting that credit bureaus legally can’t charge more than $12 for a credit report. But Equifax sidesteps this rule by selling credit score and report bundles for $16 apiece.
If you've never checked your credit before, it's free once a year from the federal website (AnnualCreditReport.com), or you can just register for free here.
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