A free credit report is available under Federal law at: AnnualCreditReport.com.

Why a Credit Check?

 

A credit check is a necessary step in shoring up your finances.  If you do not have any idea what is contained in your credit report, you are flying blind.  Your personal credit history affects nearly every aspect of your life from your ability to rent or own a home to even affecting your chances at getting employment. 

 

 

Much like a medical checkup is to your body and health; a credit check is to your finances and your potential to make more money in the future. 

 

Video: Identity Theft on the Rise

 

How to Check Your Credit, Two Simple Ways

 

Under Federal law, you are legally entitled to a credit check report from the 3 major credit reporting bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, once annually.  Additionally, should you receive notice that you have been denied credit, such as a loan or credit card, due to information provided by a credit report, you are immediately entitled to another free credit report.  You can secure your credit report today from the three major bureaus in two simple ways:  online and in writing.  For hard copies, via mail, contact the three major bureaus below and formally request your free credit report: 


check your credit identity theftEquifax

P.O. Box 740241 
Atlanta, GA 30374 
1-800-685-1111

 

Experian

P.O. Box 2002 
Allen, TX 75013 
1 888 397 3742

 

TransUnion

P.O. Box 1000 
Chester, PA 19022 
1-800-888-4213 


Additionally, you can complete your online application for your free credit check at the following websites: 


www.experian.com 
www.transunion.com 
www.equifax.com 


How Often You Should Check Your Credit 

 

At a minimum, every consumer should check their credit with all 3 major credit reporting bureaus at least once annually.  If you are looking to make a major purchase on a loan or line of credit, such as a home or vehicle, you should check again before you ever start shopping.  Checking your own credit report will not damage your credit standing, so there is no reason not to do it as often as possible.  You want to catch potential errors, such as fraudulent accounts or inaccurate reporting by your lenders, before they impact your overall credit profile.  The sooner you know about an error, the less effect it will have on your credit worthiness should you resolve it quickly. 

 

check your credit


Be Aware of the Fastest Growing Crime in the U.S., Identity Theft 


Identity theft is the fastest growing crime across the United States, affecting 1 in 3 Americans every year.  Identity thieves vary in tactic, but typically have the same effect:  they steal your money and/or name and use it while destroying your credit report.  A typical identity theft occurs like this: 


An identity thief sifts through your garbage looking for old mail, such as account statements from your bank or government documents sent to you.  They harvest your complete name, date of birth, physical address, and even your social security number.  They then proceed to use this information to assume your identity, sometimes even going as far as obtaining fake identification with your personal information on it.  They then apply for lines of credit, bank loans, and even purchase cars using your name.  When they fail to make payment, and believe us they will, the creditors will come after you, not them to collect their money and damage your credit report. 

 

Video: CV Identity Theft


The effects of an identity theft can last years, and most people are not fortunate enough to recover both their credit scores and their stolen money completely.  There is some good news:  a credit check can prevent an identity theft by stopping it in its tracks.  When you check your credit, you will see every open and closed account you have had, both in good and poor identity theftstanding.  If you see items, such as credit cards, on your credit report that are not yours, you can use the contact information provided by the credit check to get in touch with the lender and report the fraudulent activity.   


Credit Monitoring Services


With all this identity crime on the rise, it is no wonder that private industry is seeking a solution.  It has come in the form of credit monitoring services.  These services check your credit on a monthly basis, looking for new items or changes in your account status.  Should this occur, they notify you immediately.  With your permission, they will be your credit watch dog.  They are essentially an insurance against identity fraud and could save you a lot of hassle and lost money by keeping an eye on your credit history for you. 





To request your free annual report under that law, you must go to : www.annualcreditreport.com