A free credit bureau report is available to all consumers at no charge on an annual basis by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling 877-322-8228.
There are a number of reasons you should access your credit report annually. For one thing it’s free! Never pass up the opportunity for further insight, especially if it’s free, when it affects your financial health and well being. Your credit report is a vital part of your credit transactions and many other types of financial relationships. Your credit report will contain information about where you live, how much you owe, how you pay your bills and if you have ever filed for bankruptcy.
Information contained in your credit report will affect whether you can secure a loan. Checking your credit score will help you know if you are in a position to apply for a mortgage.
Reviewing your credit report is part of the process of managing your finances, such as looking at your bank statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for checking your credit score regularly is to make sure you haven’t fallen victim to identity theft. Identity thieves will use your information to open new credit card accounts in your name. When the credit card bills aren’t paid, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report.
Inaccurate information on your credit report could affect your ability to get future credit, insurance or even a job.
If you find names on your report that you don’t recognize, social security numbers that don’t belong to you, credit cards or accounts that aren’t yours, you may be the victim of fraud and will need to take action immediately.
If you have found there are errors on your credit report you will want to resolve any mistakes as soon as possible. Your personal credit report will come with instructions for submitting disputes and contact information.
For more information about your rights and privileges to this service, go to the Federal Trade Commission web site at http://www.ftc.gov/freereports.