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What does it cost you to get a credit report?

By Janet Lacey
Published: Monday, July 26th, 2010

Many people might have heard about the concept of a credit report but it is alarming that not many are completely familiar with it. In fact, only a handful of people really know what it can do for them and how helpful it can actually be. If you are aware of all that it has to offer, then you too would want to get your hands on one. In fact, this one report alone can help you financially in a number of different ways, especially if you seem to be having problems with your money.

But, it is essential to first bust some myths related to this particular report. You should know that getting your hands on a credit report each year is completely free. In fact, you can request for it just to make sure that your credit score is being reported in the right manner. But then, people don’t bother about this until suddenly they observe that their credit score has plummeted for reasons that they don’t understand. When this happens, they go out and order for their credit report. The worst part is that they actually pay for it, when you are actually entitled to one free of cost.

The three credit bureaus that have been officially authorized to provide you with the credit report are actually supposed to give you the report when you request for one. Don’t go through a third party company to get your report, as this is where your money will go. In fact, make it a point to get all three reports, since they are bound to be different. This is yet another aspect that many people are not aware of. It is a common misconception that there is just one report out there, which is definitely not the truth.

Since you actually have three distinct scores, you also have three different reports that you should be aware of. All of these are again free, and if you want it more than once a year, then you will have to pay for it. Many people do request it more than once a year. There are not distinct advantages of doing so, so you don’t necessarily have to go in for it more than once. Unless you have some significant financial activity for which you will need to request the report multiple number of times, you don’t really have to go in for it. Having one credit report from each bureau should suffice.

The other myth related to credit reports is that requesting for it will cause your credit score to fall. This is another misconception that people seem to have fallen for. In fact, if you too think that this is reason enough for your scores to collapse, then you are in for some good news. Requesting for your credit score or report is considered as a soft pull and will not cause your score to fall down. As long as you are aware of this, you shouldn’t have any problems requesting for the score and taking a look at it. Make sure that you do this at least once a year, just to keep things in your control.

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