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Best Credit Report Sites

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Written by Barbara Friedberg

Use our guide to research the best credit report company for you. Credit reports are detailed accounts of an individual's credit history that are officially prepared by credit bureaus. Lenders refer to credit reports to determine a person's creditworthiness for loans, mortgages and credit cards. The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

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Common credit report questions

What is a credit report used for?

Credit reports are maintained by three reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Lenders use credit reports to investigate a person's financial background and history. It's important to stay current with your credit report to track any potential inaccuracies and remain aware of your credit profile. It’s vital to be aware of your credit profile and to know how to check your credit score if you apply for a loan or rent an apartment.

  • Buying a house: When buying a house or applying for a mortgage, the FICO score along with a credit report will impact the borrower’s interest rate. Typically, a higher FICO credit score leads to a lower mortgage loan interest rate.
  • Leasing a car: Leasing a car also requires that the customer has a good credit report and is likely to fulfill the commitment to make the lease payments.
  • Applying for a loan: Loans, whether they are student loans, personal loans or other types, require access to the borrower’s credit report.

How do I get a copy of my credit report?

Some credit reports are free while other firms charge a fee for credit report access. The government’s site AnnualCreditReport.com gives all citizens free access to one credit report from each credit bureau annually.

  • One-time report: Many credit monitoring companies offer one free credit report every year to consumers. There is typically a fee for more frequent credit report access.
  • Credit card required: Some, although not all, credit report companies require a credit card number for the free trial and will charge a one-time or monthly fee for their credit services when the free trial period is over.
  • Recurring charges: Some credit report sites offer credit monitoring and additional credit-related programs and services for a recurring monthly fee.

How can you dispute your credit report?

Some credit report sites offer assistance disputing credit reporting errors or guidance after identity theft.

  • Missed payments: Missed payments reported in error can have a negative effect on a credit report. Some credit bureaus help consumers file a dispute.
  • Fraud: Credit reporting companies can help consumers monitor their credit and resolve fraudulent charges on their accounts.
  • General errors: It's possible to find general errors on a credit report that can lower one’s credit score. Consumers can enlist the credit reporting companies to investigate the errors.

What is a fraud alert?

Identity theft is a serious issue that can be detrimental to one’s credit. Many credit reporting companies offer credit monitoring with fraud alert services to quickly inform consumers of potential threats to their credit profile.

  • Fee: Depending on the credit report company, there may be an additional fee for the fraud alert, or it may be included in a credit management package.
  • Unusual charges: Some credit monitoring services will alert consumers if an out-of-character charge appears on their account.
  • Account freezing: Some credit report companies assist consumers in freezing their credit at the credit bureaus. This prevents unknown individuals from opening accounts in the customer’s name.

Types of credit reports

Single bureau

A single-bureau credit report provides information from one of the three major credit bureaus. Consumers should be aware that the three credit bureaus don’t always have the same credit information. One bureau might include different portions of a consumer’s credit history than another.

Triple bureau

A three bureau online credit report provides credit reports from all bureaus. This allows consumers to see everything that is reported about their credit and financial history. Viewing all three credit reports from each reporting agency offers the most complete picture of a consumer's credit history.

Identity theft prevention

Some companies specialize in helping consumers protect their identity from being stolen in addition to providing credit reports. Identity theft specialists also assist consumers after their identity has been compromised.

Credit score sites

Various businesses provide a credit score that helps consumers understand how a lender will view their credit-worthiness. Other credit score sites also provide credit reports.

Credit report sites FAQ

How can I check my credit score for free?
It’s easy to get a free credit report, but the main credit bureaus don’t usually include a credit score. Many credit card companies provide their cardholders with free credit scores. You can also ask your bank or credit union if it provides your credit score for free. Certain websites, like Credit Karma, offer credit scores at no charge. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warns consumers about signing up for a free credit score as part of a monthly credit monitoring service, then forgetting to cancel before the trial period ends.
What are the 3 main credit bureaus?
The three main credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies, are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Should I pay for credit monitoring?
Many of the features of credit monitoring — alerts when a company checks your credit, when a new loan is opened in your name, when your credit limit changes — are things you can monitor yourself at no charge by accessing your credit report for free.

If you are offered free credit monitoring after a data breach, consider accepting. If you decide to purchase credit monitoring, ask the service these questions:

  • Which credit bureaus do you monitor?
  • How often are you monitoring reports?
  • Can I view my credit reports as often as I want, or is there a limit?
  • Do I have access to any other services (e.g., viewing my credit score)?
Does free credit report affect score?
No, checking your credit report will have no effect on your score. Check your credit report regularly to make sure it’s accurate. You’re allowed to request a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Can you run a credit report on a business?
Yes, though you will have to pay to view a report. The major credit bureaus for businesses are Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian.
Is a credit report the same as a credit score?
No, your credit report and credit score, though related, are two different things. Your credit report has information about your past and current credit activity, which is used to calculate your credit score. Keep in mind that your credit report will look slightly different depending on the credit bureau, and there are distinct scoring models from FICO and VantageScore (and variations of each).
How much does it cost to monitor credit?
Professional credit monitoring costs $10 to $30 or more per month. If you’ve been a victim of a data breach, you may qualify for free credit monitoring. If you decide to pay for credit monitoring, make sure you understand which bureaus the service is monitoring, how often reports are checked, what access you’ll have to your reports and whether other services are included.

Recognize that many of the functions credit monitoring companies perform are things you can do yourself. You can also benefit from free services like putting a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit report.

Does credit monitoring affect credit score?
No, credit monitoring doesn’t affect your credit score. Credit monitoring involves soft inquiries into your credit file, which do not change your score.
What credit score do you start with?
Each person starts with no credit score. This doesn’t mean it starts at zero — it means your credit score doesn’t exist at all. Once you begin establishing a credit history, your very first credit score will likely start somewhere between the low and high end of the credit score range.
Can disputing hurt your credit?
There’s a chance that a dispute could temporarily lower your credit score, based on how the scoring algorithms treat the information in dispute. Still, if you see an error on your credit report, you should dispute it with both the credit bureau and the company that sent the information. Disputes are normally resolved quickly, and if there is a legitimate error, your credit will not be negatively affected.

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    Credit report website reviews

    Credit Sesame

    Credit Sesame is a credit and loan management company. It offers a free credit monitoring service with monthly credit reports, charts to track your financial health over time, identity theft protection and more. You can also use the service to set financial goals and track your home value.

    Read 515 Reviews

    Privacy Guard is a comprehensive credit reporting, monitoring and identity theft protection service that offers resources to help consumers maintain good credit and repair their credit history.

    Read more about PrivacyGuard

    AnnualCreditReport is authorized by Federal law to provide free credit reports to consumers. AnnualCreditReport.com is a highly respected service offering credit and identity theft information.

    Read more about AnnualCreditReport.com

    CreditReport.com is part of ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. and was founded in 1995. It is an Experian company and a partner of freecreditreport.com and freecreditscore.com as well as many other sites. The site was founded to give consumers fast, low-cost credit profile access.

    Read more about CreditReport.com

    Experian is a leading global information services company providing data and analytical tools to clients worldwide. The firm helps businesses manage credit risk, prevent fraud and more. The company assists individuals against identity theft. The company offers an abundance of services for individuals and businesses. They have over 17,000 employees in 80 countries.

    Read 1840 Reviews

    Equifax is one of the three biggest credit bureaus in the United States. They work with over 800 million consumers and 88 million businesses worldwide. Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a multifaceted information company.

    Read more about Equifax

    TransUnion is a global risk information solutions company. The company is committed to providing the most complete and multidimensional credit information. TransUnion works with businesses and consumers in 33 countries. They have been in business for over 40 years and partner with TrueCredit.com to help millions of customers improve their credit.

    Read 943 Reviews

    Freecreditscore.com is owned and operated by Experian and a member of ConsumerInfo.com family. The company offers membership services to help consumers maintain good credit.

    Read more about FreeCreditScore.com

    Freecreditreport.com is another member of ConsumerInfo.com family, which is under the Experian Umbrella. The company has been in operation since 1995 and is a membership service that helps with a variety of credit-related needs.

    Read more about Freecreditreport.com

    Compare Top Credit Report Sites