If you own a television or a radio then you have no doubt heard about websites or services that promise 'free' credit reports or 'free' credit scores. These commercials and advertisements may be cute and funny, but the truth is that their services are seldom free! In most cases they offer only a free trial of a paid service which can end up costing you big bucks over time.
There is a way to get a truly free copy of your credit report. You are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each credit reporting agency. The official web portal for this is www.annualcreditreport.com . There you will be asked to provide several pieces of personal information so they can identify you. You will also need to answer some personal questions derived from information that appears in your credit report. For instance, you may be asked how much your house payment is and who it is payable to, or perhaps to identify a former address.
You can choose to view your credit report from all three major credit bureaus, or you may select just one or two. Each credit bureau will have a different look and feel to their web site. They will also offer to sell you the credit score for a price usually around $7 to $10. This is optional. You don't have to purchase the credit score. Credit bureaus such as Equifax and Trans Union are for profit companies which make their money by calculating and selling credit scores. The law requires them to give you a free credit report but they can still sell you the credit score.