We recommend that our clients pull their credit reports at the three major U.S. credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion at least once every 12 months. Note: If you have frozen your credit, you cannot pull a credit report. We like to use the reputable and free (once per year) website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com. The importance of monitoring your credit report was highlighted a few months ago when Equifax suffered a data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of up to 143 million Americans. Monitoring credit reports can help you with:
- Building/rebuilding and maintaining good credit. Checking these reports periodically can help you make sure it is in a good spot when you are ready to apply for new credit. It can also help you keep an eye on your progress if you’re recovering from past credit problems.
- Preventing fraud. Examine the reports carefully. If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Security numbers or accounts that aren’t yours, this may be the first sign that you are a victim of identity fraud. You can then take steps to stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.
- Correcting inaccuracies. Even when incorrect information is not malicious, your credit report is often the first step in correcting it. Most of the time people find everything on their reports is accurate. But if you do find something amiss, you can submit disputes to the credit bureaus online, or via a toll-free telephone number or mailing address.
For help accessing your credit report, visit our website at makinglifecount.com or contact Ashley Kopmeyer –firstname.lastname@example.org, (913) 345-1881.