For years we've been able to get one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus. Right now, we're able to get a free one each week until the middle of April.
Why? Their generosity is likely due to the astronomical number of scams coming out of the COVID crisis. The number of unemployed crooks has surely gone up, making your good credit too enticing to pass up.
This is one time when constantly monitoring our credit is a good idea. Besides ordering your credit reports, one additional big step is to freeze your account, making it impossible for someone to apply for credit in your name.
All three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) can be accessed in the government clearinghouse website www.annualcreditreport.com ... theoretically, that is. In 2015, 2017 and today, I was only able to access TransUnion. For the other two I had to go to the individual website. One I had to call, as the website was down.
If you decide to order your credit reports by phone, allot several hours to the task and turn down any background noise so you'll be able to hear clearly.
Go to www.usa.gov/credit-reports to learn more about credit reports, scores, freezes and errors.
If you want to try to get all three reports at once, call 1-877-322-8228 at the Annual Credit Report location. The others are:
Equifax: 1-888-548-7878 or 1-800-685-1111; equifax.com.
Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com.
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or 888-909-8872; transunion.com.
Once you get your report, either online or in the mail, study it carefully. Look for accounts that you never opened and the names of people you don't know. Be sure all the information is correct. If you need to file a complaint, go to ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
(c) 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.