Have you ordered your annual credit report yet? Here are 5 reasons why you should.

Have you ever wondered what’s included on your credit report? Did you know you’re able to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting companies once every 12 months? When you head to AnnualCreditReport.com, you can request your credit report from TransUnion®, Equifax®, and Experian®. You can access your report online or receive it by mail. But why should you get your annual credit report?  

5 Reasons You Need to Check Your Annual Credit Report

November 16, 2016

The reasons why you should check over your annual credit report now.

Have you ever wondered what’s included on your credit report? Did you know you’re able to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting companies once every 12 months?  When you head to AnnualCreditReport.com, you can request your credit report from TransUnion®, Equifax®, and Experian®. You can access your report online or receive it by mail. But why should you get your annual credit report?

There are many reasons why you should review your credit report every year. Keeping a watchful eye on your report can help protect your credit and confidential information and help you get a better understanding of your credit history. Here are 5 reasons why you should review your credit report now.

1. Prevent Identity Theft



When you review your credit report on a regular basis, you might be able to catch identity theft before it becomes a crisis. When reviewing your report, watch out for any account openings or inquiries that do not align with what you’ve done in the past year. Also look out for addresses that do not match your previous residences. Identity theft can take many shapes. Report any errors or inaccuracies promptly, unless you’re in the process of buying a house.  In that case, check with your mortgage lender first.

 

2. Correct Errors 



Your credit report should be accurate, but if you spot any errors or inaccuracies, report it to the correct reporting agency. You will need to submit a dispute to whichever agency issued the report with the error—Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. Removing errors keeps your record clean and allows your credit score to reflect your appropriate score.

 

3. Identify Credit Strengths and Weaknesses



Reviewing your credit report can help you see the big picture on what types of credit you have. You may find that your credit isn’t varied enough, or that you have accounts you’ve forgotten about. Make sure your credit information is correct for all three credit reporting agencies; they do vary and could display different information.  

 

4. Review Who Reports and Make Requests if Needed



This is an especially important tip if you are new to credit. Review who is reporting to the credit reporting agencies; if your leasing or utility company is not reporting your payments, you may be able to request that they do to help raise your credit score over time. This will help you establish a credit history, which is helpful if your credit is new or being rebuilt.

 

5. It Impacts Your Life 



You may not know it, but your credit report effects much more than your credit score. The information in your credit report can effect whether you get a job, the rates of your insurance, the APR on a loan and if you get cleared for an apartment lease or home mortgage. Making sure the information is correct and up-to-date will help you make sure your report doesn’t have negative effects on you.

Take the initiative and request your annual credit report now. A smart strategy is to order your report from one agency every 3 months so that you can review any updates to your report throughout the year. Add a reminder on your calendar to make sure you never miss reviewing your report. Once you get into the habit, it will be a simple process and help you stay on top of your finances.

Have other credit report questions? Let us know in a comment below!

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This content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and considered accurate as of the date posted. Views and opinions expressed in comments do not constitute an official endorsement by Redstone Federal Credit Union® or its affiliates. Redstone encourages you to seek professional advice for your personal situation before making any financial decision and is happy to assist you at any of our branch locations.

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