Free Annual Credit Report
When is the last time you looked at your credit report? If you are like most people, you let months and even years pass between checking your 3 credit scores. Some consumers are unaware of how credit works or it simply scares them off. They think it’s too complicated or might be too expensive to request a copy of their credit report. But, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Sure, if you want to check your report every week or every month, you will have to subscribe to a costly credit monitoring service, but if you just want your free annual credit report then you can view it for free online. For most consumers, this free annual credit report is all they need to keep their credit healthy and in good standing.
Why is it free? There is a federal law in place which allows consumers to check their credit reports from the 3 major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year without any cost associated with it. This is a called a free annual credit report. As a consumer, you are entitled to see the contents of your credit report so you can make sure there is no errors or fraud. If any errors are spotted, you can work with the credit reporting agencies to fix or eliminate them before they do serious damage your credit. It is highly recommened that you take advantage of these free annual credit reports.
As a responsible consumer, you should always be aware of the contents of your free annual credit report. After all, your credit report is what lenders are looking at when you try to get an auto loan, mortgage, line of credit, or any kind of loan in general. They can see any current loan you have, how often you pay them back, and whether or not you are late on any payments. Paying your loans back on time every month shows lenders that you are a low risk and you will be able to secure a loan. Having a clean and responsible credit report is key to securing any kind of loan or line of credit.
With identity theft on the rise, it makes checking your free annual credit report even more important. The last you thing you want when trying to build your good credit is someone stealing your personal information and then taking out loans with your name. These ID thieves will also open lines of credit in your name with no intention of ever paying the money back. This can do serious damage to your credit and make it impossible for you to ever buy a car or home, so it is vital that you are checking your credit report at least once a year.
There are many different websites online that will allow you to check your credit reports, but a lot of them will charge you. If you want to request your free annual credit report, you should visit annualcreditreport.com which is a government owned website for consumers to get their report once a year without any kind of cost. It will show you your reports from the 3 major reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
When viewing your free credit report, make sure you are checking everything in detail and keep these tips in mind. Look closely for any fraud or errors and report them immediately. Make sure lenders are reporting your payment habits correctly. If you notice any old debts that are still unpaid, take care of them to improve your credit. Remember, credit is an important part of your financial life. Make sure you are checking your free annual credit report each and every year!