What Information Do I Need to Provide to Get My Credit Report?

Getting a credit report online couldn’t be easier. In a few short minutes, you can obtain an up-to-date copy of your credit report that can be used to gauge how good – or not-so-good – your credit standing is. Before going ahead and ordering a copy of your credit report, though, it helps to know what type of information you’ll be expected to provide. That way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and save yourself time, money and frustration. Look below for a breakdown of the information that is typically needed in order to get a copy of a credit report.

Basic Identifying Information

In order to pull up the right credit report, the credit report company will need your basic identifying information. You will need to provide your full name; if you have a maiden name or have used a different name in the past, you may have to provide that, too. Other identifying information may include your date of birth and your current address. If you’ve lived at a different address within the past five or six years, you may have to provide that, too. Make sure that you have all of this information readily available.

Your Social Security Number

Most people are understandably reluctant to provide their social security number. However, you’ll have to fork it over if you want to view a copy of your credit report. Social security numbers are the primary ways by which credit report agencies keep track of people’s credit information. Reputable websites will use asterisks in place of your full SSN, though, so that it doesn’t appear in plain sight. If you’re using a site that doesn’t put this feature to use, you should probably look elsewhere. It’s one simple way to keep your social security number away from prying eyes.

Information to Confirm Your Identity

Before you can view your credit report, most websites require you to confirm your identity in some way; after all, it would be easy for someone else to supply basic info like your birth date and your current address. For that reason, you may be asked to answer a series of multiple-choice questions about your past credit history. For instance, you may be asked to select the name of the company who finances your car loan. This is a quick, simple way to keep unauthorized people from checking out your credit report.

Credit Card Information

If you’re looking for a free copy of your credit report, like the one that is offered by the U.S. government, you should never have to supply your credit card information. If you are willingly looking to pay for a 3-in-1 credit report or for some other credit report product, though, you’ll have to supply your credit card info. Make sure that the site uses topnotch security so that your payment information is safe and secure.

As you can see, you don’t have to dig out a lot of information in order to get your hands on your credit report. Just be prepared to answer a few simple questions about your past credit history and you should be good to go.