The three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — will offer a free credit report to consumers each week at AnnualCreditReport.com on a permanent basis, extending a pandemic-era program that was set to expire at the end of 2023.
The new policy follows the bureaus’ move in spring 2020 to provide free weekly reports as the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S., causing financial hardship for Americans who lost their job or faced a pay cut. Before the recent announcement, the availability of free weekly reports was scheduled to expire at the end of 2023. Typically, a free report is available from each bureau only once every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com.
Check each report for errors or signs of fraudulent activity, such as the presence of a credit card or loan that you never opened or a collection account for a debt that you don’t owe. The most effective way to block identity thieves from opening accounts in your name is to put a free security freeze on your report from each bureau. (You can add a freeze at www.transunion.com/freeze, www.experian.com/freeze and www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services.) When a freeze is in place, a creditor cannot access your report in response to an application for new credit, thwarting crooks. If you want to open a credit account, you can temporarily lift the freeze.
Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.
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