Many people do not think about their credit score, credit worthiness or pulling a free annual credit report until they find themselves trying to qualify for a mortgage, car loan or new credit card. This can be a huge mistake. If you wait until you need credit to look at your credit report, you could find yourself in “credit hot water” that could take weeks or even months to straighten out. Fortunately, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for every American to receive a free credit report each year from the three main reporting agencies. This is an opportunity consumers should not let slip away from them.
Six reasons why it is vital to obtain your free annual credit report.
1. Catch Identity Theft
Unfortunately, identity theft is more prevalent than ever before. However, if you catch it early, it is easier to take control of the situation and fix problems before they spiral out of control. Check your credit report each year to find and fix problems caused by identity thieves.
2. Check for Balance Errors
Even large companies make mistakes. Check your credit report regularly to make sure your creditors are correctly reporting your balances. If the numbers are off, it can make it harder to get credit when you need it.
3. Confirm Personal Information
Have you married or divorced, changed your name or moved? Confirming your correct personal information is very important–especially since employers may pull your credit history as part of the hiring process.
4. Understand Credit Rejections
It is especially important to check your credit report if you are rejected for a credit card or other opportunity. Looking over your credit score and history helps you understand why you have been rejected and how to avoid future setbacks.
5. Plan for the Future
Reviewing your credit report can help you better plan for your future. Whether you are thinking about homeownership, buying a car or getting out of debt, having a clear picture of your credit can help you in determining your plan of action.
6. Your Credit Report is Free
If the other reasons have not convinced you yet, this one will. You can obtain a credit report from all three major services absolutely free each year. Since there is no cost to you, why not check out your information?
In addition of the 6 considerations mentioned above, there are additional reasons to consider obtaining your free credit report. Did you know, The official FCRA website allows you to obtain the three reports from the credit bureaus Equifax, Transunion and Experian. These reports are one of the best ways to help you get your finances in order and start working towards a great future.
Have you ever pulled your credit report before? If so, what discrepancies were you able to find and how were you able to get these fixed?