Time it takes: 7 minutesKnow how lenders see you. Take seven minutes to download a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. (For year-round monitoring, get a report from one of the three major credit bureaus every four months.) If you spot an error, notify the bureau (online, by phone or by mail) and the creditor (call and also send a letter). You won't find your credit score here, so when you request a report from Equifax, pay $7.95 for your FICO score, the most commonly used score. The range is 300 to 850 - 700 and above is good.