How to Get an Instant Credit Report

Check your credit report instantly.
Check your credit report instantly. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Download your instant credit report online at any time, and often not spend a dime. It's the law that the major credit reporting agencies allow consumers access to their reports once every 12 months at no cost. Your credit score still has a fee, and credit monitoring services cost extra as well. But if you just want to take a peek to see what lenders see, it's easy enough to do.

Gather your documents so you're ready to go. You'll need your personal information as well as recent bills on revolving accounts, both to check for accuracy on your credit report and to answer security questions that may pertain to your monthly payments.

Point your browser to the Annual Credit Report website or the websites of Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. All of these sites will allow you to get your credit report instantly.

Fill out the online application to receive your reports. For security reasons, you'll need to enter not only your personal identification, contact information and Social Security number, but also specific information about previous addresses or monthly bills.

Submit your application and if everything was correct, go to your instant credit report. Check your credit report for errors, and get an idea of what potential lenders and employers see when they pull your report. You can also print a copy of the report for your records.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you've already seen your credit reports in the last 12 months, you'll need to purchase them or wait until it's been a year.
  • Consider credit monitoring services and identity theft protection to protect your credit.
  • Shred your sensitive documents instead of throwing them away.

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