Get Your Free Credit Report the Smart Way

Get Your Free Credit Report the Smart Way

The recent events at Target reminded every credit card and debit-card holder of the danger of identity theft. But how can you check your credit report to make sure you haven't been compromised?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about the best way to get the free credit report you're entitled to annually. Dan notes that even though many websites offer what they call "free" reports, they often come with charges if you don't cancel before a trial period ends. By contrast, the website at is the only one that's government-authorized, provided by the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax . Dan notes that it's essential to look for mistakes and follow the procedures to correct them. But he also points out that certain companies provide other credit information, such as Discover Financial's providing FICO scores from Fair Isaac on statements. Nevertheless, it's smart to check your full report to make sure it's accurate.

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Originally published