Have you recently checked your credit report? According to financial advisors, regular credit report monitoring is a crucial step in maintaining good credit. Don’t wait until you suspect to have been a victim of fraud or Identity theft before checking your report. Make it a goal to order a copy of your report at least once or twice a year.
By personally checking your report, you can check for possible errors or misinformation and request the bureaus for corrections immediately. If you see any unusual activity in your report, someone might be using your account for fraudulent transactions.
How to Protect Your Personal Credit
Consider the following tips on how you can keep your personal credit standing in good shape.
Minimize the use of your available credit. Credit utilizationis a major factor in increasing your credit score. The less you use with your available credit, the higher your score would be. In fact, financial experts recommend not using more than 30% of your available credit.
[GOOD READ: Should You Have Multiple Credit Cards ]
Read all notices from your credit card company. When your credit card company sends you mail, be sure to read it carefully. According to the new Credit CARD law, issuers can still impose changes or increase interest rate as long as advanced notice is given, 45 days ahead of time. But if you fail to be alerted, you might find yourself stuck with a credit card with a very high rate.
Get your freee credit report once a year. Consumers are entitled to one copy of credit report once every year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion). There is only one resource where you can get your free report from the internet so be sure that you do not go to other websites.
Place your order from AnnualCreditReport.com, the official website where the three major bureaus distribute free consumer credit reports. You can order all three copies of your report at once or order one copy from each bureau one at a time throughout the year.
Consider purchasing a credit monitoring service. Most online credit reporting sites offer these. With ID thieves finding more ways to steal your identity, a credit monitoring service can alert you immediately when there is any activity to your credit report. Some of them will also help you alert all your creditors and shut down compromised credit accounts.