Annual Credit Report Monitoring
You can help to protect yourself against identity theft by reviewing your credit report at least once a year. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that each of the three national consumer credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — provide you with a copy of your credit report on request once every 12 months at no charge.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the FCRA, which promotes the secure maintenance of accurate information by the consumer credit reporting companies.
By regularly checking your credit report, you can
- Guard against identity theft.Even if you don't use your credit cards, you still have a credit record. Any anomalies in your credit report could mean that an identity thief is using your personally-identifiable information, such as social security number, banking information, job information, etc, to obtain credit in your name. If you don't check your report, you'll never know.
- Make sure your credit file information is current and up-to-date before you apply for any loans.
The three consumer reporting companies have set up a central website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. Go to annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or download the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to:
Note that the only website authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law is annualcreditreport.com. Other sites will similar names may charge a fee and/or not provide reports from all three agencies.