I'm talking aside from the well known yearly annualcreditreport.com reports that we can all get.
I know you can get a TU report for free any time you get a Discover CLI denial letter, as it states on the back of the letter that if you mail them a copy of it they will provide you with a free report. In theory, someone with a Discover account can then get an updated TU report almost as often as they want, since you can request a CLI (and get a denial letter) just about as often as you want.
I was wondering what other tricks there may be to getting EX and EQ reports? Are there creditors that send EX and EQ denial letters for CLIs that can be used to request reports? I can't think of any from the other creditors that I have accounts with, such as Citi, Amex, Capital One, Synchrony, Chase, etc. as I don't believe I've ever received any denial letters from them.
Another way I've received free reports in the past (from all bureaus) is to call and request that a change be made... something like removing an old address or something petty. After they make the change, I simply request that they send me a copy of my credit report so that I can verify that the change has been made. I've never been told no to this, so I've received some free credit reports this way.
In theory, someone with a Discover account can then get an updated TU report almost as often as they want, since you can request a CLI (and get a denial letter) just about as often as you want.
That's just in theory but I would avoid doing this too often. The concern is both with Discover and TransUnion. Discover might flag your excessively frequent CLI request activities as suspicious, while TransUnion might "get clever" and inform Discover about this, so in the future Discover starts to deny CLIs using reasons without using your credit report, which means you don't get the free report access from that denial letter.
Creditors don't have to use information on your credit report to deny your CLI, they certainly can use reasons related to their internal system about your accounts. For example, below is a CLI denial letter for my Citi ThankYou Premier, and they did not use information on credit report to deny the request:
BTW you don't have to mail the denial letter to the credit bureau. You can request adverse action credit reports online at the bureaus' websites, they will ask where you get the adverse action from and you just need to fill in the creditor which gave you the denial letter.
One option is to check whether you are in one of the "Magnificient Seven" states that gives extra free reports to their residents:
That's Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.
I agree that it's not something that should be done all the time (with respect to the Discover example) but it could certainly be done a few times per year to supplement your free annualcreditreport provided reports.
I don't think Discover would flag anything personally. I've requested CLIs in the past from them for every week for a period of 37 or 38 weeks and received 37 or 38 denials (and letters) prior to finally receiving a CLI. Even with 37 or 38 requests, I experienced no ill-effects or adverse situation. If I were requesting 37 or 38 credit reports from TU to go along with those denial letters, sure, I'd say that's not a wise move.
<mod edit - That can't be advocated here. --UB> My Apologies and thanks for keeping me on the striaght and narrow.
You can get a monthly copy of your EX report from EX at freecreditscore.com.
The May, 2015 settlement agreement reached between the offices of the attorneys general of 31 states and the big-3 CRAs included the following provision:
“5. Additional Free Annual Credit Report to Consumers Following Reinvestigation
The CRAs shall implement a process by which consumers who initiate a dispute
of information contained in their free annual credit report disclosure are granted the
ability to request one additional free annual credit report disclosure—as authorized by the
FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681j(a) during the twelve-month period following a change to the
consumer's file as requested by the consumer in the dispute. This additional free annual
credit report disclosure shall be in addition to and shall not diminish any other right of a
consumer to request and obtain a free credit report disclosure from any of the CRAs.”
I'm able to keep up with my free Experian FICO 8 credit report (updated weekly at minimum) via both freecreditscore.com and the Experian app on my iPhone.
I'm talking about real hard-copy credit reports.