Nowadays it’s simple to get your credit report, and the good news is you can do it for free! But what exactly is a credit report? Why should you be getting one as soon as possible? And most importantly, where can you get it? Well, stick with us and we’ll show you the way to get your free credit report.
What is a credit report and why does it matter?
Your credit report is a detailed compilation of your credit history created by a credit bureau. It’s a key document to apply for loans or other types of credits for your business. Credit bureaus collect and analyze your credit history and create a report that is used by lenders to prove your creditworthiness.
A credit report is used by your potential lenders, but you can use it too to be in control of your finances. You can check your financial history, spot inaccuracies or know if you have been a victim of identity theft. Getting a credit report regularly will help you keep a healthy credit score, therefore improving your chances to get a loan. And yes, you read it correctly, it is possible to get it for free!
Where and How Can I Get My Credit Report?
You’re entitled to get one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies or bureaus through annualcreditreport.com, which is the official website for free credit reports. There are other sites that might help you get your credit report but this is the most reliable one. You can order your free credit report online, through telephone or via mail. You will be requested to provide basic information such as your name, address, social security number, and date of birth, to verify your identity.
If you’re in need of getting your credit report more than 3 times a year, then you can request it directly from each of the 3 credit bureaus, paying the fee that we include below.
So, what are your options?
Experian is a global leader in consumer and business credit reporting. They gather, analyze and process data in a secure way to help you take control of your finances and make smarter decisions.
- Price: Experian has a cost of $19.99 per month and it offers the following: 3 bureau credit scores, identity theft monitoring, alerts and dark web surveillance, credit monitoring, fraud resolution, up to $1 million ID theft insurance, and easy way to lock and unlock your credit file.
- Pros: It provides you with accurate information about your credit and offers identity protection tools.
- Cons: Your credit is only updated quarterly.
Equifax is a global information solutions company that uses data, analytics, technology, and industry expertise to help companies and individuals get insights to make more informed business and personal decisions.
- Price: At $19.95 per month, with Equifax, you can get the 3 bureau credit scores, 3 bureau credit report monitoring, and social security number scanning. And for $29.95 a month, you can add a second adult to your account, and credit monitoring for up to 4 children with their family plan.
- Pros: They offer web monitoring and the information they provide is more comprehensive than in other places.
- Cons: The system doesn’t work smoothly.
Transunion is also compromised with individuals and organizations to help them make informed and prudent decisions about their credit, and they help customers to understand and manage their information.
- Price: For $19.95 a month you will be getting unlimited updates about your credit report and score, email notifications of critical changes or if someone is applying to credits using your name, personalized debt analysis, and credit score trending, between others.
- Pros: It offers access to your reports at any time.
- Cons: It doesn’t offer you a report from the three bureaus.
You don’t need to request the three credit reports all at once: you can request one, and wait a few weeks or months to request your credit report from another bureau. Why should you do it this way? Because then you can have a proper track of your credit throughout the year, and free of charge. Remember that you are entitled to request your credit report for free once a year from each bureau. So you can distribute your three free chances throughout the year, or otherwise (if you need your credit report more often) you’ll have to pay the fees reflected above.
On the other hand, getting your free credit report from the 3 bureaus at the same time can have some perks, like spotting exactly the differences between your 3 reports at a given time. Have in mind that there may be some differences between the reports as shown in the image below since each credit bureau may have slightly different data and they use different algorithms to calculate their scores. Nevertheless, although there may be some differences, if your credit score is high, it will be high no matter the credit bureau you’re using. In the image below you can see that, even if the three scores are different, they all are in the range of the 700. Finally, keep in mind that if you spot any inaccuracy in your credit report, each credit bureau may have different requirements or process to dispute the error, but the good news is that you can request the dispute online for the three agencies.
Other options to get your free credit report
If you want to constantly monitor your credit, there are other free options to try. Credit Karma and most big banks such as Bank of America offer free credit monitoring. Take into consideration that these platforms offer only credit dashboards. However, even though they’re not as detailed as a credit report, they clearly show your credit score and highlight any areas for improvement. If you go for Credit Karma, your credit dashboard would look something like this:
For more information, check this complete guide on how to use Credit Karma to check your credit
As you can see, getting your hands on your credit report is the best thing you can do now if you want to be in control of your finances or get closer to that business loan that you’ve been looking for. Getting a credit report is EASY, FAST and FREE, so get yours today!
If it’s the first time you’re requesting a free credit report and you have no idea of how they look, don’t worry, we got you! Take a look at this guide on how to read your credit report, where you can see how a credit report looks like, learn about its sections and how to read it.
Now that you’re on top of your finances, it may be the perfect time to apply for a small business loan. Submitting your application through Camino Financial will only take you a few minutes. Camino Financial does a soft pull on your credit that won’t affect your credit score. With just a few clicks you will be closer to the loan that could make a difference in your business.