How to Get Your Free Credit Report From Experian

FT Contributor
A smartphone displays the Experian app.

If you’re curious about your credit report, keep in mind that Experian is one of three credit reporting companies that offer free credit reports. You’re eligible to receive a free credit report from each one of these three credit reporting companies once per year.

It’s helpful to take advantage of this free report so you can quickly identify errors in your report and better understand which negative items may be dragging down your credit score.

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How to Get an Experian Free Credit Report

You can request your free Experian credit report on the credit reporting company’s website. To obtain your report, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Experian website.
  2. Provide your information as requested, including your Social Security number and current address.
  3. Create your account, including a username and password.
  4. Verify your identity when prompted.
  5. Receive and review your credit report.

When you sign up for an account with the Experian website, you’re also eligible for an updated report each time you sign into your online account every 30 days. Additionally, the company offers credit monitoring alerts and a dark web surveillance report for free.

How Is the Free Experian Score Determined?

Your credit score is affected by a number of factors. Credit reporting companies gather your financial information to calculate your score. Your past behaviors, including your debt and whether you usually make your payments on time, make up your credit history and determine your score.

Secured Credit Cards

Some of the factors taken into consideration when calculating your score include the following:

  • Your new accounts: When you open several new credit card accounts at once, it raises red flags regarding your creditworthiness. This behavior is generally seen as negative to lenders and lowers your credit score.
  • How much credit you use: When you max out your credit cards to the limit, it displays you may not be financially responsible. This action lowers your credit score and shows borrowers you may already have too much debt to handle.
  • How long you’ve been borrowing money: When you have an extensive and positive credit history, it increases your score. If you’re new to borrowing money and don’t have much history, your score is likely to be lower until you build up a positive history.
  • Your current debts: A healthy mix of different debts is important and you don’t want any debts to be maxed to their limits. When you’re responsibly handling both credit cards and loans, lenders know you’re an experienced borrower.

Experian Credit Score Range

When analyzing your credit score, you’ll see that it’s a three-digit number. Each credit reporting company uses a different credit scoring system to determine your credit score range, which is used by lenders to decide if you’re eligible for a financial transaction.

Experian uses the FICO credit scoring system to determine your score. This system sets credit score ranges in the following manner:

  • Poor: 300 to 579;
  • Fair: 580 to 669;
  • Good: 670 to 739;
  • Very good: 740 to 799;
  • Exceptional: 800 to 850.

With a poor or fair credit score, you may still qualify for a financial transaction but you’ll likely be offered unfavorable terms, such as a large down payment requirement or high interest rate.

What to Do with Your Free Credit Report

When you receive your free credit report, review it for errors. If you see any mistakes, it may be a sign of identity theft or simply erroneous reporting. Let the credit bureau or creditor know about these mistakes so they can be corrected quickly.

If your score is low, consider contacting a good credit repair company to suggest actions you can take to increase it. Review the negative items on your report so you understand what’s bringing your score down. By changing your financial habits and becoming more financially responsible, you can raise your score over time.

Your credit score affects your ability to borrow money and engage in other financial transactions. By requesting your free credit report annually from Experian, you can learn more about how your financial behaviors affect your history and make the changes necessary to increase your credit score.

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