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How to Get Two Free Credit Reports a Year

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Short answer: Live in Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey or Vermont.

Long answer: In the seven states listed above, there are state laws that that require the credit bureaus to provide your credit reports absolutely free. These laws are in addition to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (technically, it’s the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act which amended the FCRA) that requires the bureaus to provide your credit reports once twelve months, which you can access through AnnualCreditReport.com.

For example, in my home state of Maryland, you had the right to request your report every twelve months but you had to submit your request to the credit bureau directly. The new law created a central clearinghouse through which you could make your request, AnnualCreditReport.com, and this gave Marylanders a second look at their report, though you still have to make that request directly.

The easiest way to request it directly, which is a rule shared by all seven states, is to do it online:

This means that if you stagger your requests, you can review your report once ever two months. I don’t do this but if you really want to be on top of it, it doesn’t get any better than this. Couple it with TransUnion credit score monitoring through Credit Karma and you will be the second to know if your identity is ever compromised (sadly, the first to know is the thief him or herself).

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20 Responses to “How to Get Two Free Credit Reports a Year”

  1. live green says:

    That is awesome. Since I do live in Maryland, I will be taking advantage of this. Thanks Jim.

  2. nickel says:

    Great tip.

    FYI: TransUnion link is busted.

  3. Nick says:

    Great, great post! I set up calendar reminders in Outlook to make sure I get my reports. And I’m a Jersey resident, so I’m in bonus territory. I’m usually comfortable with one every 4 months, so I haven’t been doubling up on each, but I may have to kick it up a notch. It can’t hurt I guess, right?

  4. shiftomnimega says:

    I’ve considered moving to 3 of those states. If I decide to get any more obsessive about credit I will keep this in mind.

  5. zapeta says:

    Thanks! That is useful now that I’m in Georgia.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about people in kentucky?

  7. Allie says:

    Join Digital Credit Union and your Fico score free every month. $10 to join and $5 in the savings account.

  8. Konrad says:

    I also stagger getting my wife’s report into the rotation, since her credit report is almost identical to mine. That way I get 6 free reports per year even though I live in Washington state.

  9. speedracerx9 says:

    Are you serious? I get three free a year. Every 3 to 4 months I request a free report from ONE of the credit agencies. Not all three at once. By the time I get the last report and read it completely its time to request from the first agency again. They all share the same info and only rarely have any difference. You can do this from ANY state!

  10. Allie says:

    speedracerx9–
    Credit reports from the 3 agencies are not the same as your FICO score.
    Credit reports show all open and closed credit accounts and should be gotten every 4 months to make sure no one is using your credit information. A FICO score will give you a number that most credit agencies use for your credit worthiness.

  11. Nick says:

    @speedracer. I believe the point is that you can get six free per year in those states as well – not just the 3 from annualcreditreport.com. One directly from each reporting agency as well.

  12. speedracerx9 says:

    Don’t need FICO. You either take care of your credit or you don’t. Sometimes circumstances dont allow you to manage it well but when you can you should. It takes months or years to efectively change it and knowing your low is probably no suprise to those who are. Its an over hyped number. And do you really need 6 reports. How paranoid can you be.

  13. Allie says:

    Well, we paid our first house off in 6 years and bought 58 acres and built a house and paid that off in 7 years and have had no payments of any kind for over 30 years. We do open and close savings, checking and credit cards to earn extra money. $3800 last year and most is tax free. So not being in debt and opening and closing accounts can affect your FICO score which can have an effect on your car and house insurance premiums. So we are not paranoid, just prudent on watching expenses by not paying more when we don’t have to.

  14. Ryan says:

    This is somewhat fraudulent but you can enter in your address saying you live in another state and still get the report for free. :) Worked for me at least. :P

  15. tbork84 says:

    Hurray for living in Massachusetts!

    I knew it had to pay off eventually.

  16. daenyll says:

    too bad I live in FL, but I did just order my 4mo cycle this morning and it looked ok.

  17. jsbrendog says:

    http://www.sadtrombone.com for ny-ers. oh well. we already live in the best state in the country so what more couldi want i guess


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