Whenever you need to borrow money for a big purchase or open a new line of credit, a lender will pull your credit report to assess your creditworthiness. Luckily, you can check your credit report yourself to make sure the info is accurate! This is one of the most important credit management tasks you should perform on a consistent basis.
Check Your Credit Report – The Basics
- Who – Everyone! All consumers who use or plan to use credit for anything as small as a grocery bill or as large as buying a house need to check their credit report regularly.
- What – Your credit report is a complete accounting of your credit history. Watch this video that outlines details for understanding your credit report:
- When – You are entitled to three free reports per year, one from each of the three major reporting agencies. You should check your credit report with the different agencies at separate times throughout the year in order to stay current on what your report contains. Once every four months is optimal.
- Where – You can access your free reports from your home computer by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Why – Checking your own report is the best way to avoid credit problems related to fraud or misinformation. Monitoring your credit reports throughout the year helps you notice ID theft or reporting errors quickly. Resolving credit report issues will ensure that you get treated fairly when applying for loans or credit cards.
Staying up to date with what’s on your credit report is important for protecting yourself. It is also helpful for assessing your financial situation when making decisions about large purchases like a car or house. If your report has a notation that will disappear in a few months, then consider holding off on borrowing in order to get a better interest rate. This will make debt reduction much easier in the long run.