What is Equifax Credit

How to View (and Monitor) Your Credit Report for Free

If you keep an eye on your credit report regularly, you will see when identity thieves open accounts on your behalf and when they list bugs that could cause problems in the future. Here's how to do it for free.

Under US law, you are entitled to a free annual credit report direct from any agency. However, you will need to move to a different location if you want to get your credit report more often. Don't worry - it's still free.

Credit Report Basics

CONNECTED:This is how you prevent identity thieves from opening accounts on your behalf

There are several credit bureaus. The "big three" in the US are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. When you apply for a loan, e.g. For example, a credit card, loan, or mortgage, the lender will withdraw a copy of your credit report from one or more of these agencies. It is up to the lender which agency to use.

These credit reports usually have the same reports on them. For example, if you have two credit cards and a car loan, those three accounts should show up on all three reports. However, when you apply for a mortgage, the bank's request (or deduction) will only appear on the relevant credit report.

The reports should usually contain the same information. However, it is a good idea to double-check all three to make sure the information is correct.

Note that while these services will show you a "credit score," these credit scores are actually a pretty complicated subject. The credit bureau only reports raw data - like a list of your accounts, uses, credit limits, and payment transactions - and lenders can run through various models to determine the numerical score they are using.

Use the credit karma for TransUnion and Equifax

The Credit Karma free website displays data from your Equifax and TransUnion reports. They also have free apps for iPhone and Android.

After creating your free account, you can sign up on the website and click on My Summary> Score Details> Credit Report to view either your TransUnion or Equifax report. Alternate between the two at the top of the page. In the app, both reports are at the top of the main page.

If you run into a problem here, you can click an account for more troubleshooting information.

Credit Karma allows you to see updated information every seven days so you can always see an updated copy of your credit report. They'll also email you alerts when a new account appears on your report or when they see changes. So, if an identity thief ever steals your details and opens a new account on your behalf, you'll get an early heads-up. They can also notify you if they discover that your email address has been disclosed due to a breach of another company's public information.

To customize this, on the Credit Karma website, click Profile and Settings> Communication and Monitoring (or click the Settings icon in the app). Make sure "Credit Monitoring" is checked to check the emails.

Note that while Credit Karma displays credit rating numbers, this rating is calculated using the VantageScore model. Most lenders actually use the FICO score model - and there are even several FICO score models that are used for different types of loans.

This service is completely free. Credit Karma makes money by using your credit score to recommend credit cards and loans that you might want to apply for. But you never have to apply for something here.

For Experian, use FreeCreditScore.com

Experian does not provide its data for Credit Karma, but it does operate its own free credit score website. FreeCreditScore.com is owned by Experian and operates in a similar way to Credit Karma. Apps for iPhone and Android are also available.

warning: Experian tries to use this free service to sell you. They want you to have features like a report that is updated daily and the ability to view all three credit reports in one place. However, you don't have to spend any money to use this service. Just be careful what you click.

Once you've signed up for free, you'll be able to view your credit report and a FICO score. Click Reports & Scores> Credit Reports> Experian to view them.

The FreeCreditScore.com website brings you a new Experian credit report every 30 days. This is less convenient than Credit Karma's 7-day window, but still a lot more convenient than requesting a free credit report from the hotlines themselves once a year.

As with Credit Karma, Experian's service will send you an email whenever a change in your credit report is detected, e.g. B. a new account that has been opened and reported on your behalf. This gives you a clue if an identity thief opens an account in your name. You can also click Credit Notifications on the website for a list of recently used notifications.


Many banks and credit card companies have role-like tools like Chase's Credit Journey and Capital One's CreditWise. However, these services usually access the data of a single credit agency. The combination of Credit Karma and FreeCreditScore.com gives you free access to all three reports.

Photo credit: REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock.com