To request your free credit reports go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Do not use any other web "address". There are many other sites with similar names that claim to offer free credit reports. Beware - these sites either want to sell you something or steal your personal information.
You can view your individual credit reports online through this site, or find out how to request the reports by phone or mail.
It is important that you review your credit report each year to verify the accuracy of the information it includes. Banks, finance companies and credit card issuers use this report to determine your "credit worthiness" when you apply for a loan or credit card. If you discover an error on your report you should immediately contact the reporting agency to correct the information.
Your free credit reports do not include your "credit score", also known as your "FICO score" (from Fair Isaac and Company, developers of the software). You can purchase your credit score directly from the three consumer credit reporting agencies or at www.myfico.com.
Many years ago I had paid off in full a $500.00 credit card balance. My credit report indicated that I had defaulted on a $5,000.00 line of credit! I was eventually able to get this FU fixed.