Everyday, while surfing internet we come across the numerous advertisements which tell us that it is our right to get free credit reports. But is this possible? Yes, one can obtain a free credit report to have a look at his credit score or a financial background at no charge, without a credit card.
Actually if we try to find the answer to the above question, it will come as 'no' because every time you go to check your re-credit report, you will be hard pressed to look for a company that will be ready to do it. The most important reason behind it is a simple one. Credit card serves as a major tool in identification of an individual. It is used to verify your true identity. But don't get disheartened.
There are ways to get your free credit report without actually possessing a credit card. You can write an application demanding your credit report to anyone of the credit reporting agencies with a proof of your identity attached along with. Your identity proof can be a copy of your driving license or a copy of your recent bill. You can also give a call to these credit reporting agencies to obtain your credit report.
A credit report is a document depicting your financial status which becomes a very important tool to derive your specific credit score. The information regarding your financial transactions, loans, dates, bills is gathered and maintained by these credit reporting agencies. These records include the information about your bad loan history, delayed mode of re-payments, penalties slapped and your own credit liabilities. Thus, a credit report is a reflection of your financial position and the credit score indicates your reliability as a borrower for financial institutions and banks to decide whether you're creditworthy or not.
A person having a better credit score like 700 or above can easily get loans or mortgages at much lower interest rates, unlike the persons suffering from bad credit score. As your credit report is a reflection of your financial status, it helps you to manage your resources in a much better way. Your credit score becomes a reference point and makes it much easier to plan your financial activities accordingly. Thus, in modern consumer based society, it serves as a guiding tool to ensure that you are not trading the path to bankruptcy.
There are only three credit reporting agencies to provide a credit report for any individual. Those are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Only these three major companies can track and report your credit history. On September 1, 2005 the Federal Trade Commission, the consumer protection agency of US has passed the law by which everyone in the US is now entitled to get a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies mentioned above in each single year.
As the official website of FTC says "annualcreditreport.com is the only authorized online source to get a free credit report under federal law. You can get your free report from each of the three companies every 12 months." Although annualcreditreport.com is easily accessible, there is a small catch. From this site you can't get access to your credit report more than once in a single year. So, if you want to check the report again within 12 months you have to switch over to other websites which claim to offer free reports but may charge you after a specific span if you do not cancel their offers within that free trial period.
There are few things which you can consider while getting free credit report.
- Don't try to get the credit reports from all three companies at a single time. This will allow you to space out your free credit reports thrice in a year over a regular time interval. Thus, you can see the changes that occur over time in a year.
- Check out for the correct spelling of your web address as there are many spam sites which slightly differ in their spelling from the original ones.
- Download your credit report immediately as you may not have access to it later.
- Quit your browser after getting your credit report, so no one else can have access to it. This will prevent the identity threat.
There are numerous websites offering you the opportunity to get your free credit report. The only obligation here is a normal 30 day three trial periods. So in case you use this facility then don't forget their membership within the free trial period. Don't give your credit card information or any such information which can become the cause for identity theft. As a credit report guides you in planning and managing your financial sources, avail this facility regularly!