Online Credit Reports

How to get a credit check online

Online credit reports allow you to self-monitor your credit quickly and easily. They can be obtained almost instantly and contain the same complete and comprehensive information that's available to people who run credit checks on you.

By doing a regular credit check online, you can monitor your credit rating, dispute inaccurate information that may be affecting your score and change out-of-date or incorrect information. Most credit experts recommend that you keep a close eye on your credit report to ensure its accuracy and as a means of gauging your progress if you're trying to improve your score.

Agencies that Track Consumer Credit

In the United States, there are three major credit reporting bureaus that track consumer credit: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Each of these companies is obligated by U.S. law to provide you with free credit reports once per year, at your request.

Experian, which is based in Dublin, Ireland, acquired TRW Information Services in 1996 and turned it into its U.S. credit monitoring operation. Equifax is the oldest of the three credit bureaus, having been founded in 1899, and offers a range of credit monitoring products to both individual and commercial clients. TransUnion got its start in the credit reporting business in 1969 and primarily offers consumer credit reports.

You can request a free online credit report from any of these companies once a year. Each has slightly different criteria for ranking creditworthiness and reports consumer credit differently, so it can be useful to get all three reports at the same time and compare them to each other.

Get a Free Credit Report Online

To get an instant online credit report from any of these companies, simply visit their website and review their request protocols, or execute an online search for "online credit reports" or a related term. Keep in mind that you will have to provide sensitive personal information, including your Social Security Number, to obtain your online instant credit report. It is very important that you only provide this information from a secure computer to minimize your risk of identity theft. Clear your browser's history and memory cache after filling out the application forms, too, so that no traces of the information remain.

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