Some states had previously allowed consumers to request a “free” copy of their credit report once a year from each of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), but now everyone in the US is entitled to that service. How can you maximize the value that you receive from this arrangement?
Ordering the reports in one big lump does give you an “across the board” picture of what’s going on with your credit history and score, but it may not be the most effective way to take advantage of your yearly free copy.
Instead, space out your requests such that every four months you get a your free credit report from a different agency. That way you’ll have three smaller data points during the year instead of one bigger one. The gap between reports will be shorter, and it’s therefore more likely that you’ll catch a problem more quickly.