The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act allows people to get free credit reports once a year from each of the big three national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. A separate request, for a fee, will get a credit score.
The best way to get these reports is on the Web site set up for such a request: www.annualcreditreport.com.
The reports can be requested by phone at 1-877-322-8228. Each requires verification of some information first. Also, the reports can be requested by mailing a request form - available at the Web site above - to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
The credit reporting agencies will try to sell added monitoring services to people requesting free reports. A credit score typically costs about $7 from each agency.