I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again how important it is to check your credit report regularly. Doing so can enable you to request that errors be corrected in a timely manner and can provide you with an early indication if you have become a victim of identity theft. It can also make it easy to see areas in which your financial wellness can use some adjusting. Do not wait until you are applying for a mortgage or for credit to find out that your credit report isn't presenting you in a positive light. Straightening out errors and rectifying past-due debts can take months and may cost you the opportunity to buy a home or make a large purchase. It is best to be prepared so that everything is as it should be when you need it to be. Best of all, accessing your credit report once a year won’t cost you a thing. Are Credit Reports Really Free? In 1970, the U.S. Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968. The FCRA states that you're entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three nationally recognized reporting companies. These companies are Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®.