Do you know what your credit score is? When was the last time you have even CHECKED your credit report?
Where To Get Your Free Credit Report
Consumers are entitled to get one free copy of their reports annually from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You can either order all three reports at one time or at order one report at different times throughout the year.
The three bureaus have set up one website where you consumers can request for their annual free credit reports. Visit Annualcreditreport.com to request for your free report. Keep in mind that this is the only website authorized by the government to offer you free credit reports.
Keep in mind the free credit report DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR CREDIT SCORE. If you are looking for credit reports with a score you can join one of these programs. Most will give you 30 days free before they start to charge you for access. The benefit is that not only do they give you your score, but in most cases their monthly fee covers credit monitoring.
Other Ways To Get A Free Credit Report
Aside from the annual free report, there are other instances when you can request for a free copy such as if you have been denied because of your credit history, if you are unemployed and plan to look for a job within the next 6 months, or if you suspect to have been a victim of ID theft.
Why Check Your Credit Report
Consumer credit reports are managed by the three major credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. These three bureaus gather information from banks, lending companies, credit card issuers, and other financial institutions. Each bureau make used of its own system to calculate credit scores.
When checking your report, it is advisable that you order a copy from all the three bureaus. Since you do know from which bureau a prospective creditor will inquire your report from, you’ll want to make sure that all three versions of your report are accurate.
Is it possible for your credit report to contain errors?
Yes, it is. In fact, errors often occur for different reasons. Sometimes, a creditor may report a wrong charge to the credit bureaus. In some cases, another person’s account information may get mixed into your credit file. It is also possible for the bureau to make the mistake in recording information. This is why consumers need to personally check their credit reports on a regular basis.
How often should you check your report?
Ideally, you should do checking at least once every six months. If you plan to apply for a new loan or credit, it is also recommended that you look into your report first. Job seekers are also encouraged to check their credit reports. You want to make sure that there is not any negative information in your file which can affect your application.