A credit report is a document used to summarize a person's financial reliability in terms of his payment abilities. It's a compilation of the current financial obligations such as loans, credit cards, outstanding debts and payment history. It may also sometimes contain credit scores which rate credit performance of the consumer. Acquiring a credit report is very important for anyone who intends to get involved in whichever financial transactions.
The annual credit reports website is the site that is recommended for those applying for the free annual reports. It's a central website set up by the three credit bureaus ie Equifax, TransUnion and Experian to offer 3-in-1 reports in a simplified way instead of getting three different reports. However, the reports can be acquired separately from each of the three reporting firms. This is especially convenient for the consumers who are not applying for the first time as they can chose which of the firms to obtain the reports from. Whether contacted through the internet, phone call or by mail, there are some basic details that the consumer must fill up in full before he / she can acquire the report. The details include the name, address both current and former, the date of birth and the social security number of the applicant.
There are other numerous websites that provide complementary credit reports although usually for a limited period of time. These reports are issued at the time of the year when the free reports from the annual credit report website cannot be obtained by the consumers. Annual credit report only issues a single report for every year thus a report needed in between the year will have to be sourced from alternative sources. Subscriptions to these sites have to be paid by consumers who want to access their reports at anytime.
There are other firms that offer monthly reports but charge a monthly membership fee so as to monitor the credit activities of a consumer and give notifications upon any changes. They provide more than the plain report because they help the consumer regulate their credit-related activities in order to avoid getting into poor credit situations.