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One important back-to-basics step you can take this Financial Literacy Month (or anytime) is checking your credit report. 

Your credit report has a summary of your credit history. For example, if you’ve been evicted and a landlord turns uncollected rent over to a collection agency, that might be on your credit report. Information in your credit report affects your credit score. That’s important because businesses — like insurance and phone companies — use your credit score to decide whether to give you a policy or service, and what rate to offer. And potential employers and landlords also might check your credit.

So you want to know that the information on your report is accurate. And if it’s wrong, you want to make sure someone didn’t steal your identity.

Here’s the plan:

  • Order your free credit report. Go to or call 877-322-8228. Through December 2023, everyone in the U.S. can get a free credit report each week from all three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
  • Read the reports carefully. Do you recognize the accounts? Do they list credit applications? Did you apply for credit at those places?
  • Spot mistakes. Fix anything that looks wrong (read more about how). But if it looks like someone else is using your credit, go to to report it and get a recovery plan.
  • Spot a credit repair scam. If a credit repair company asks for money up front, or tells you not to contact the credit bureaus yourself, that’s probably a scammer.

Look, it’s been a tough time, and it’s hard to get back on track. But you can take steps to rebuild your credit. Only time and a plan to pay off debt will improve your credit, but with free credit reports available every week, it’s a good time to take a small step towards recovery. 

Updated September 23, 2022 to reflect the extension of weekly free credit reports through December 2023.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Dotn't use you…
April 08, 2021
Thank you so much.I recently had some fraudulent activity on one of my credit cards,and I really need to be sure that nothing else was impacted.
Tria moua
April 11, 2021

In reply to by Dotn't use you…

my phone is been prompted and hack my account along with email so I can't get any information where I want to connect and find out about my personal been used
Dedeye Don't u…
April 08, 2021
Are you sure that everyone in the US can get a free credit report "EACH WEEK" from all 3 national credit bureaus?? Don't you mean 'each year'?? Just asking for clarification .... I could see each month, maybe, but not each week. Thanks for the credit link, I just requested my credit reports from all 3.
Don't usJe you…
April 08, 2021
Total waste of time... fill out forms...wait..answer questions and then - cannot be delivered on-line with a list of form/documents to mail in to request mail delivery of report. W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!
April 08, 2021
I find it impossible to request my credit reports on line through No success. I tried on the phone, after submitting all the information for Transunion, the line disconnected right at the end. Equifax and Experian would not provide on line, instead they want me to send confidential information through the mail. Why can't I receive the reports on line or on the phone?
April 09, 2021
I always have trouble reading these things. They are so complicated.