[ad#Left-Align Content Ad]Almost everyone these days wants to know how you handle credit. Your credit history is increasingly viewed as a window into your life and personality — including whether or not you are responsible and reliable. It might not be fair, but that’s the reality. As a result, it is important to make sure that the information in your credit report is accurate.
On top of that, it is just helpful to know what’s in there. You can get an idea of what areas in your finances need improvement, and you can prepare yourself for how others view you. Happily, you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the credit bureaus.
Getting Your Free Credit Report
[ad#Left-Align Content Ad]Every 12 months, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. In order to get your free credit reports, you need to head over to www.annualcreditreport.com. Enter your information, and choose which report you want. After verifying your identity, you will be shown your credit report.
By law, the credit bureaus have to provide you with everything that is in your credit history. (Be aware that your credit report is different from your credit score; you are not entitled to a free credit score each year.) Check over the report to make sure that everything is accurate. Make a note of issues that make you appear less responsible with your finances, and work toward fixing those.
Be Wary of Impostors
You should understand that there is only one official place to get your free credit report each year, and that is annualcreditreport.com. There are impostors that offer “free” reports, but there are usually strings attached. You might have to sign up for a credit monitoring service, or buy some other product or service to get your report. If you sign up with one of these sites, you might have a free trial period, but you need to remember to cancel before the credit card you inevitably have to provide before seeing your report is charged.
When you look at your credit report through annualcreditreport.com, you will not be asked for your credit card number, and you won’t be required to sign up for anything (although the credit bureaus will try to pitch you). Your credit report is important, and you should know what’s in it. Head to annualcreditreport.com, and find out what financial services companies think about you.