How to Obtain a Free Credit Report
Illinoisans can receive free copies of their credit reports once a year from each of the three national credit reporting agencies.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act established the free credit report program. The program requires the three national credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union – to provide consumers, at their request, with a free copy of their credit report every 12 months.
The annual free reports are available only through the centralized source set up by the three credit reporting agencies. If consumers contact the companies directly they will still be charged for their credit reports.
Please note that when you apply for your free credit reports, the credit reporting agencies will likely attempt to sell you upgraded services for a fee. You are under no obligation to purchase any upgraded services; instead, you may simply say no to these options and receive only your free report.
To obtain the free reports, consumers can:
Additional Free Reports for:
Victims of Identity Theft:
In addition to the free reports available each year, consumers are entitled to a free report from each of the agencies if they believe they have become the victim of identity theft.
To receive the free report in these circumstances, victims should contact each reporting agency directly and be prepared to provide a copy of a police report.
When an Application for Credit is Denied:
Consumers also are entitled to a free credit report if their applications for credit have been denied based on information provided by a reporting agency. On these occasions, consumers must contact the reporting agencies directly and make their requests within 30 days after the application for credit was denied.
Consumers also should be aware that www.annualcreditreport.com and the national credit reporting companies will never send consumers e-mails asking for personal or financial information. Any e-mail that claims to be from one of these agencies should be considered a scam.
Consumer Fraud Hotlines:
Spanish Language Hotline: 1-866-310-8398