Access to free weekly credit reports was one of the very few upsides of 2020. Now, the three major credit-reporting companies are extending that perk for another year.
Through April 20, 2022, you can access your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion as often as each week at no cost.
The credit-reporting companies say they are continuing to offer free weekly access to reports “to help people across the country manage their financial health during the ongoing hardship caused by COVID-19.”
Prior to the pandemic, federal law stated that all consumers could access one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit-reporting companies.
That federal law remains intact. But last year, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion voluntarily expanded free access from once per year to once per week until April 2021. Now, the companies are offering another year of the same policy.
Regularly checking your credit report is wise. Not only can you catch errors and make sure they are corrected, but you may spot dubious activity on your record that indicates someone has stolen your identity and is opening accounts in your name.
If you are considering looking at your credit report soon, check out “How to Get Your Free Credit Report in 6 Easy Steps.”
Perhaps you don’t check your credit report because you are afraid to face the financial mistakes you made in the past. If you are having trouble handling debts, stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center for help finding free, professional credit restoration.
Credit reports versus credit scores
While your credit score is based on information in your credit reports, your score itself is not in your credit reports.
However, you can get your credit score for free as well if you know where to look, as we detail in “7 Ways to Get Your FICO Credit Score for Free.”
Understanding your credit score
Most people understand the importance of maintaining a high credit score. But not everyone realizes how widely their credit standing can impact their lives.
For example, having a poor credit score might prevent you from landing a job. As we have reported in “8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report“:
“As part of a background check, employers can request a copy of your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows credit reporting companies to release your report for employment purposes.”
The employer has to request your permission to do the check, but your refusal could doom your chances of being hired.
On the other hand, many people mistakenly believe that some actions — such as checking your own score or failing to pay a fine — can ding your credit. For more about such myths, read “5 Things You Think Could Hurt Your Credit Score — but Don’t.”
For more about boosting your credit score — and keeping it high — check out “7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast.”
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