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How to obtain a free credit report
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Why is this important?
There are many good reasons to check your credit report. In this case, we are doing it as the first step in lowering the costs of borrowing money.
Steps to take
1. Visit annualcreditreport.com
This site allows you to request a free credit report, once every 12 months, from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
2. Select your state.
- Expect to select New Hampshire from a drop down list.
- Then click the Request Report button to continue.
You always have the option to request your report via telephone or by mail. Instructions are provided.
3. Enter additional information.
Follow instructions and enter contact information and your social security number. This is a secure site from a trusted company so it is safe for you to give them private information.
4. Select credit reporting company
Eventually you will be asked to select one or more of the three credit bureaus. We recommend selecting one this time and a different one next time unless you want to compare what information is stored about you at all three.Information on file at each credit reporting company may be different because creditors may not report to all three.
Alert! Offers for your credit score or monthly subscriptions abound on these sites. They are not needed to get your free report.
5. Print and check your credit report for errors.
Be sure to print your full report by clicking on Print Report before selecting Print This Page button. Reviewing your report on-line for 30 days is optional and may require you to provide a username, password, email address and security question. However, it will give you access to the report which would otherwise end when you exit the site.
To help you understand your credit report, download
- How to Read a Credit Report from the Federal Trade Commission
- For credit bureau contact and additional information, download this two-page brochure, Your Credit File, from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension