I know we have gone over this before but it’s such an important topic that I feel it’s necessary to keep it in front of you. We just recently had an employee who was the victim of identity theft, so this stuff happens! Pulling your credit report is an essential part of securing your financial future. Reviewing your credit in full to see who might have pulled your credit, looking for signs of identity theft and taking quick action to clean up any mistakes are vital to maintaining good credit and a good credit score.
You should be checking your credit report on a regular basis to ensure that there are no signs of identity theft and that nothing negative has been erroneously posted to your credit. As you know, your credit report and credit score are what lenders use to determine IF you get a loan and what type of interest rates you get. Generally the better your score, the better chances of being approved and the better rate you may get.
So, once again, I remind you of the following:
If you see signs of identity theft such as entries that are clearly not yours, have them fixed immediately. If there are errors in your report that you spot, call and or write and have them corrected ASAP. Stay on top of this. You may need to be persistent.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act is the Federal Law which protects you and your credit. Under this law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies once every 12 months. Additional reports from the agencies can then be purchased. You can also go to sites such as; www.annualcreditreport.com or freecreditreport.com to pull all three of your reports. If you pull them from third party sites like this be careful as to what they may sign you up for and make sure you cancel if it isn’t wanted. It’s not enough to pull just one report. They can drastically differ depending on who’s reporting to which bureau. so pull them all.
You can also pull them individually; The three major nationwide credit reporting agencies are again for your reference; TransUnion (www.transunion.com ), Equifax (www.equifax.com), and Experian (http://www.experian.com).
You can pull your report one time every 12 months for free. In fact, my advice is to pull a different one every four months. That way you are checking in on your credit every four months instead of once a year.
It may be strange for me to say this but there are many people who are needlessly sent to a collection agency because of poor record keeping and because the consumer did not keep up on these important issues that can affect them for years to come. Keep an eye on your credit report and you may just find your financial life improving with just a few tweaks.