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Free instant credit reports are perhaps a bit of an optimistic expectation, but pretty quick free credit reports are not. Every legal resident of the United States is entitled to one free credit report in any 12 month period. It may not be instant, but it won't take weeks, or even days, and will be about as close to getting free instant credit reports as you need.

There are many sites offering free instant credit reports, but it's not always what it might seem at first. Read the small print carefully and you may see that the credit score you will be given is based on the information you provide.

This means that it is essentially an opinion in the eyes of others – your opinion. If you want a report that will be taken seriously by everyone who needs it, some of the sites offering free instant credit reports may not be able to give you that.

It stands to reason when you think about it. You could go to one of the sites, enter only good things in the form you are required to fill out, and the result will be a high low-risk credit score. It will look great on paper, but it won't be true.

In fact, if you tried to use a fraudulent credit report you could get into very serious trouble. The site that let you produce it won't get into trouble. Their terms and conditions will clearly state that their report is not guaranteed to be a true record, and you will have to agree to those terms and conditions before they will give you the report.

Your real credit report is a document that reflects your financial position. It will have a record of your loan history. This could include any delays in repayments, credit refusals or penalties imposed. Using this data your credit score is determined providing a reliability reference that lenders can use to decide whether or not you can be trusted.

Your credit report must be produced by a recognized credit agency to be of any effective use to anyone. It should be obvious that simply going to a website, filling out a form about your credit worthiness and receiving a report based on what you have supplied can not be considered a reliable credit report. There are millions of people who wish it could be but this is real life; we have to live it, not rewrite it.

Of course, you may not be the one who adds discrepancies to your credit report. For this reason you should obtain a true credit report at regular intervals to check that what is reported is a true record of your financial situation. If some error has crept into the report that is damaging and not true, you must rectify the matter as soon as possible.

File a claim with each of the three credit referencing agencies: Equifax, Trans-Union and Experian. They will investigate your claim and put the record straight if they find it to be necessary. It is really more important that your credit report is accurate than anything else. In this consumer world of free instant everything, free instant credit reports is undoubtedly a good idea, but be careful of where you find it.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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