I realized that it has been a few years since I last checked out my credit report which is not such a good idea. Paying attention to your credit report can save a ton of headache if errors are noticed and corrected. We all know of someone who has had some form of Identity Theft which often can be seen via their credit report and credit score.
In the past I’ve recommended that people use a credit monitoring system provided by one of the 3 major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. The idea being you are alerted via text, paper, or email if your credit is pinged and then you can investigate what caused the notice. It is a good safety feature as long as a person pays attention to the alerts.
Every person is entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the credit bureaus. It is now easier than ever to get your reports. All you need to do is go to www.annualcreditreport.com and follow the links. It took me less than 5 minutes to input the needed information and then I was looking at all 3 of my reports. Very fast and easy!
When looking at the credit report I look to see if I understand each account listed. If I don’t then I investigate further to make sure that it is indeed an account that I should have. I then look at “inquiries” to see who has pinged my credit. Finally I look at the “Negative Information” tab. If everything looks good across all 3 tabs then I print a copy of the report for my records and I’m done.
If there are items that need to be corrected it is easy to dispute any errors. Knock on Wood but everything appeared kosher with my various reports. The only surprises were the 5 or so retail store specific cards that I had forgotten I’d opened up at some of the major retail stores.
Let me know what happens when you check out your credit report.
By the way, you can pay for your Credit Score if you’d like as that is available for a nominal charge from each credit bureau.