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You can hardly turn on the TV without seeing an ad for a free credit report. Of course, many of those companies are just interested in getting you to sign up for a credit monitoring service. Somebody has to pay for those expensive commercials, right??

Checking your credit report can provide you with insights into how you appear “on paper” to potential lenders and creditors. Additionally, your credit report offers you a first look at the possibility of identity theft if you see fraudulent accounts.

Your credit score is the numeric representation of how lenders (and others) gauge your financial responsibility. The higher your score, the more responsible you appear to them – and the better interest rates you can receive.

So how do you get your free credit report and score online? Here’s how:

First of all, you should know that if you are rejected for a loan, or if you don’t get the best deal, or if some other “negative action” is taken as the result of the information in a credit report, you are entitled to a free report from the agency that provided the report. You must request the report in writing within 60 days of the negative action.

But you don’t have to wait for a negative action to get your free report. You are entitled, by law, to one free report once a year from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus. The federal government mandated that a special website to be created for consumers to get their annual free credit report – and that site is called You should visit there for your official free report.

That website will give you the opportunity to pull your report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can get all three at once, or you can space it out throughout the year, getting one from a different agency every four months. (Realize, though, that not all reports are identical, so one report might have something another report doesn’t.)

So that’s how to get your free credit report: just go to If for some reason you have used up your once per year free credit reports at that site, you can also try sites like, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Quizzle. These are for-profit sites that are legitimate (not scams) which provide some information for free to users who sign up. While these sites don’t give you your official credit report, they do provide some of the same information that is on your credit reports.

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.