Free Online Credit Reports

Written by Jessica Duquette
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Free online credit reports can be very beneficial to consumers, but there are certain precautions you should take before giving out your personal information. Each time you or a creditor pulls your credit report; this action is logged with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. While occasionally requesting this information is worthwhile, too many inquiries can send up red flags to creditors.

In the case of purchasing a new home, shopping around for lenders is highly recommended. Pulling your credit report each time you talk to a mortgage company is required and understood by the bureaus. Buying a home is a significant investment, and you want to make sure you are getting the best deal before you sign a contract.

Are Free Online Credit Reports Really Free?

Some corporations that offer free online credit reports do so by a bait and switch tactic. Though they claim their reporting services are free, they may be accompanied by a hidden contract that requires a monthly or annual financial commitment. If you are simply looking for a one-time credit report, be sure to read the fine print thoroughly.

As mentioned in the earlier paragraph, there are three major credit bureaus. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are the most prestigious in the industry. Lenders require reports from all three agencies to ensure accuracy. Often a free credit report from the internet may only include one of these reporting agencies. Before any major purchases can be approved or loans can be granted you will have to obtain reports from all three agencies. Make sure you know which bureau the free credit report is coming from.

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