The Importance of Credit Reports
Among the most important tools in your arsenal when it comes establishing and maintaining financial health is your credit report. Checking your credit regularly is an important way to catch fraud early and ensure your information has been reported correctly. While there are plenty of reliable sources when it comes to credit monitoring, we recommend AnnualCreditReport.com, which is not only reliable but also backed by federal law.
A Trusted Source Improved
Typically, Annual Credit Report allows consumers to access each of their three credit reports, for free, once every 12 months. You decide whether you want to pull all three in a single site visit or one report at a time spread across the year. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AnnualCreditReport.com’s free reports can be accessed on a weekly basis through April 2021.
It’s worth noting that Annual Credit Report does not offer free credit scores. By focusing on reports and the information they contain, consumers can monitor their accounts and payment history for accuracy, which is one of the primary factors that creditors use to derive credit scores anyway. While distilling your credit worthiness down to a single number has its place, a complete and accurate credit report offers a more thorough view of your overall financial health.
What You’re Looking For
As mentioned above, accuracy is tremendously important when it comes to your data. As you are reviewing your report, verify your personal information on each account, making sure that details such as your mailing address, your full name and spelling, social security number, and reporting accounts are correct. By verifying this information, you not only prevent typos and other clerical errors from becoming unnecessary problems down the line, it is also a key line of defense when it comes to identity theft or other types of fraud that suspicious activity may signal.
As you are reviewing your personal information, take some time to review the accounts that are being reported. Be sure you recognize each lender listed, the type of loan(s) listed, as well as the expected balances. If you see a lender you do not recognize or other inaccuracies, we highly recommend that you call both you the lender listed and the credit reporting agency to inquire about or contest any unauthorized transactions.
Credit Monitoring Is Important
Taking some time to review your credit report in its entirety is an important step in actively safeguarding your information. By checking what’s reported, you can make sure the information reporting is correct. Knowing what is reported and how frequently can be key component in working towards your financial goals whatever they may be. Thinking about buying a new home or preparing for the next stages in your life? Revisiting your credit report regularly gives you the opportunity to fix any errors early, reducing the long term impact incorrect reporting may have.
Our Credit Coaches Are Standing By
So you ‘pulled’ your credit report and don’t know what to do next? You’re in luck! Call Federal has an entire team of Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors who are experts when it comes to credit reports and are available to walk you through yours for free. Maybe you’ve noticed an error and aren’t sure how to get it fixed, maybe you’re looking for ways to improve your credit; in any case, personal coaching that can help guide you in the right direction. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, fill out the brief form on our financial wellness page and we’ll match you up with one of our coaches.
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