You can get one free report each year from each of the three credit bureaus—so three total. The smart thing to do is to get one every four months, that way you can make sure (for free) that you haven't been a victim of ID theft. Another option is to order all of your credit reports at once to determine your baseline. Not all lenders report to all bureaus. Then next year start to stagger them by ordering one every four months.

To get a free report, go to the website set up by the Federal Trade Commission,

You can also print out the form, fill it out and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Or call toll-free: 877-322-8228.

If you can't get a free report, buy one from one of the three credit-reporting agencies:

It's very important to know your credit score. Once you start paying down your debt, your credit score will rise. A higher credit score means lower interest rates.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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