Big three credit reporting agencies switch from one free credit report per year to weekly free credit reports.
Under normal circumstances, people can access a free credit report once per year from each of the three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
But nothing about 2020 has been normal. As a result, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax announced Monday that everyone will able to get a free credit report from each of them every week for the next year, starting April 20, 2020.
According to the companies, they are making the free weekly credit reports available to help people “protect their financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.”
As the credit agencies note, the “hardship” has been spreading rapidly over the last few weeks as the coronavirus shut down much of the country. That led to approximately 22 million people needing to file for unemployment. Beyond that, nearly 3 million borrowers are already in forbearance on their mortgages.
Under the CARES Act, companies are required to “report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the pandemic,” according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
And now, people will have the ability to monitor their credit reports every week to ensure that’s happening.
“Credit vigilance is critical during these uncertain times,” the companies said in a statement. “Consumers are advised to review their free credit report frequently to understand the information that is being reported about their payment behavior.”
“People are feeling scared and uncertain about the future,” Equifax CEO Mark Begor, Experian CEO Brian Cassin and TransUnion CEO Chris Cartwright said in the joint statement.
“To help play our part and reduce some of that anxiety, we are uniting as an industry to help people know the facts about their financial data,” the CEOs continued. “We are making credit reports more accessible more often so people can better manage their finances and take necessary steps to protect their credit standing.”
According to the companies, people can now access their free weekly credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com every week for the next year.