Your credit report contains a nearly complete record of your credit history. Many of your financial applications are based either directly or indirectly on the information in your credit report. It goes without saying that you want to be sure the information in your credit report is accurate.
It’s recommended that you check your credit report at least once a year to be sure there are no errors. The more often you can check your credit report the better. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to check your credit report for free. The best free credit reports don’t ask for any credit card information for sign-up and can easily be accessed online. When you’re checking your free credit report, make sure you’re accessing a secure website and read any fine print on the site. With that said, take a look below to see the best free credit reports we recommend using.
1 Best Overall: AnnualCreditReport.com
AnnualCreditReport.com is the centralized site where every consumer gets access to their free credit report granted by Federal law. It’s the only website that allows you to access each of your credit reports from all three of the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can obtain one free credit report every 12 months and you don’t have to sign up or create an account and you’ll get access to your full credit report from all three of the major credit bureaus.
Credit reports are available as a PDF download. The downside is that you receive your full credit report, which hasn’t been formatted for user-friendliness. Depending on the length of your credit history and the number of accounts you’ve had, your credit reports can be dozens of pages each. You won’t receive a credit score with your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
2 Best for Credit Monitoring: Credit Karma
Credit Karma has been around since 2006 and has partnered with two of the major credit bureaus — Equifax and TransUnion — to offer your free credit report. Because you can access two of your major credit reports, it’s the next best option to AnnualCreditReport.com. You don’t have to enter any credit card information required to access your free credit report, but you’ll have to create an account. You can access your credit reports at any time by logging into your account. Your credit report information is updated as often as once per week, so you have continued access to changes in your credit information.
You’ll have access to your credit report information along with an explanation of the factors that are contributing to your credit score. Credit Karma also uses your free credit report information to show credit card and loan offers that you may qualify for. You don’t have to take advantage of these offers if you’re not on the market for a new credit card or loan product.
3 Best for Single Bureau Access: Credit Sesame
Credit Sesame pulls information from your TransUnion credit report to help you keep track of all your latest credit information and factors affecting your credit. There’s no credit card information required to sign up, but you will have to create an online account with Credit Sesame to access your credit report information. Once you’ve created an account, your membership gives you access to a monthly update of your credit information.
In addition to your TransUnion credit report information, you’ll also have access to your TransUnion credit score. This gives you an idea of where your credit stands and whether you need to improve your score. Credit Sesame uses your credit information to make recommendations for credit cards, loans, and other financial products, but you don’t have to apply if you’re not on the market for a new loan.
4 Best for Homebuyers: Quizzle
Quizzle provides you with your free TransUnion credit report every three months. You’ll also have access to a free copy of your VantageScore bases on your TransUnion credit report information. Your credit score is also updated quarterly.
There’s no credit card required to sign up when you create your account. Along with access to your free credit report, you’ll also be able to receive personalized recommendations and even receive an estimate of your home value. Both are also free. Quizzle is great for consumers who are on the market for a new home. The service analyzes your credit information to determine whether you’re ready to buy a home and offers personalized recommendations to get your credit in the best shape to qualify for a mortgage.
5 Easiest Sign-Up: NerdWallet
Sign up with NerdWallet and get access to your free TransUnion credit report. While your credit report is updated weekly, you can log on at any time to check your credit report information.
In addition to your free credit report, you’ll also be able to view your VantageScore 3.0 based on your TransUnion credit report information. Your credit score is also updated on a weekly basis.
Registering is fairly simple. You can use your Google accounts and you only have to enter the last four digits of your social security to create your account.
6 Best for Personalized Analysis: Bankrate
Bankrate gives you full, free access to your credit report information from TransUnion without hurting your credit score. Bankrate lays out your credit report information in a chronological timeline to show you what’s happening to your credit over a period of time. You can look over the history of your credit and pinpoint key areas that may have influenced your credit either way. As your credit report information changes, you can can see how those changes may have changed your credit score and even isolate differences in your credit reports that could indicate a possibility of fraud.
You’ll also get a free credit score analysis. Understand the factors that are affecting your credit score, see whether your credit score is trending up or down, and get insight into how your financial habits are affecting your credit score.
7 Best for Improving Credit: CreditWise
Check your TransUnion credit report and credit score through CreditWise, a free credit report and credit score tool from Capital One. You can use Credit Wise to view your credit information for free, even if you’re not a Capital One customer. You won’t have to enter any credit card information, there’s no trial subscription to cancel, and your credit information is updated weekly.
CreditWise keeps you up to date with changes to your credit report and you’ll even receive e-mail or push notifications about important credit events. CreditWise includes a credit score simulator you can use to help determine how certain actions will affect your credit score. For example, if you’re planning to open up a new credit card account, you can use the simulator to estimate how it will impact your credit score.
8 Best for Daily Updates: WalletHub
WalletHub is the only site that provides free daily updates to your credit report information along with a summary of important changes to your credit information. You’ll have the most updated information on your TransUnion credit report, allowing you to act quickly if you spot errors on your credit report. WalletHub also provides personalized credit advice based specifically on your credit information.
In addition to your free credit report, you’ll also have access to your free credit score, which allows you to see where your credit stands. There’s no credit card necessary and you won’t damage your credit, even if you check your credit report every day.