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How to get a free credit report

By Karen Anderson
Published: Friday, October 28th, 2011

As a consumer, you are faced with hundreds of different transactions, applications and deals per year. To cover for your expenses, credit cards are typically used to substitute for money. In case you can’t use cards and cash, you can use other payment options such as wire transfer. Completing transactions have become so much easier these days because of the internet. But whatever payment option you wish to use, there is one thing you need to know after all the purchases have been done and the transaction receipts pile up: it’s your credit record.

Knowing your spending and keeping track of them is a very good way to balance your profits and expenses. You are probably one of the millions of American consumers out there who keep on buying things and availing of services without the second thought of how much money will be left after that. It’s not a sin, really, but the hard economic times call for stricter penny pinching plans to battle it. Filing for a credit report is one good thing to get the budgeting scheme completed accurately. It is actually a necessity for any self-respecting citizen who wouldn’t want to end up as another casualty of the recession.

Explaining what a credit report can do can be summarized by a few sentences: it is a way of keeping track of your financial state and it can be used by different companies who are looking at entering into any business transaction with you. It will also serve as your backer if you are dealing with bankers who are not personally familiar with your records.

That being said, filing a credit report is fairly easy. You just need to follow these simple tips and you’ll be getting your credit report in no time.

1. Visit the official website which provides you with a free credit report, AnnualCreditReport. Some people think that if they directly contact the credit bureaus themselves, they will be able to avail of the free credit report. This of course is a common misconception. Some credit agencies may even subject you to a private service that will soon have you signing for payment for the services involved. Know that the site mentioned above is the service which is mandated by law to provide a free report. You can view your report online, depending on your state.

2. If you can’t go online, you can send a mail to the Annual Credit Report Request Service at the listed address:  P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. You can also call them at 877-322-8228. (You’d have to complete the mail form first if you’re planning to write them)

Here are some things you need to remember when you request for a free credit report:

There are various websites out there that might trick you into signing for a credit report service with the tagline ‘free credit report.’ This is a very widespread tactic of different credit report companies to lure unsuspecting customers into availing of their services. Although it’s not a bad idea entirely, you may feel shortchanged to know that you’ve been signed up for a payment service by a misguiding link or article.

Credit report companies can provide you a wide array of packages and plans to suit your needs. Just take a little more time to sift through the real ones and pair it up with your credit report and you’ll be up working on keeping track of your credit report in no time.

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