Your credit score tells lenders a lot about your financial responsibility. There’s even more detail in your credit report, including account balances, credit inquiries, loans, and history of late payments and bankruptcies. It is compiled by the three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion; while these agencies are extremely reliable, you should check your credit report from time to time as inaccurate information can sometimes appear. If so, you can dispute it before negative details affect your credit.
For a solid understanding of your credit status, you should check your credit report at least once a year. These are just five reasons why this is a good idea.
You’ll Know Your Current Credit Status
Applying for a mortgage loan, auto loan, or any type of personal loan can be stressful. But if you know your status, it’s clearer whether you may be eligible (you’ll see the same information your lenders see). The better your credit, the more likely you’ll be approved and get lower interest rates. By tracking your FICO score, you can determine the status of your credit, whether improvements are needed, or if it’s time for credit repair. This also helps decide if applying for a new credit card is a good idea.
Easier to Find and Dispute Errors
Mistakes happen and it’s not that uncommon for errors to appear on credit reports. The sooner you find an error, the easier it is to dispute it. Details to look for include account balances and payment statuses. Once you report an error to the respective bureau, it will investigate the issue over about 30 days; if the detail is found to be inaccurate, it is removed. The same goes if you find incomplete information about one or more of your accounts.
Quickly Catch Suspicious Activity
In regard to fraud, checking your annual credit report allows you to catch suspicious activity. Identity theft often targets victims’ credit once their personal information is obtained. Fraudulent activity can run up your accounts and drop your credit score, effectively ruining your credit. It can take months to dispute fraudulent charges, which affect millions of responsible borrowers every year.
Easier to Manage Your Finances
Reviewing your credit report and all your accounts allows you to track spending. You can then budget accordingly to make reasonable payments every month. At the same time, you can put aside funds for savings. Reviewing your credit report is therefore just as important as checking your bank statements and credit card bills.
It’s Free to Check Your Credit Report
Not only is it easy to check your credit report online. It is also free. You can check it from each of the three bureaus at least once a year. Here are places you can go to check your credit report:
- AnnualCreditReport.com: Track your status from all three bureaus; reports are now available every week through April 2021 due to COVID-19 regulations.
- Equifax: With a myEquifax account, you can receive six Equifax credit reports a year for free; you can also get a free monthly VantageScore® 3.0 credit score.
- Experian: For free, you can monitor your Experian Credit Report, receive alerts, and get opportunities to increase your credit score. Also see positive and negative factors affecting your FICO score.
Contact American Credit
We work with Los Angeles consumers who are concerned about their credit. Credit restoration and consultation services are available to assess your situation and work on a solution. Our credit repair service involves a pre-litigation process to achieve fast and effective results. Contact us today for a free Credit Repair Consultation.