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Get Your Free Credit Report the Smart Way

By Dan Caplinger – Updated Feb 14, 2017 at 4:59PM

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Make sure problems like the Target information breach don't ruin your credit. Here's how to check your credit report fast and free.

The recent events at Target (TGT 0.29%) 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 annualcreditreport.com is the only one that's government-authorized, provided by the three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax (EFX 2.19%). 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 (DFS -0.78%) providing FICO scores from Fair Isaac (FICO 1.87%) on statements. Nevertheless, it's smart to check your full report to make sure it's accurate.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Target Stock Quote
Target
TGT
$154.21 (0.29%) $0.45
Discover Financial Services Stock Quote
Discover Financial Services
DFS
$102.93 (-0.78%) $0.81
Equifax Stock Quote
Equifax
EFX
$198.08 (2.19%) $4.24
Fair Isaac Stock Quote
Fair Isaac
FICO
$624.99 (1.87%) $11.49

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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