Free annual credit report monitoring can help you maintain a good credit score and secure identity. Both are very important elements of a healthy financial future for you and your family. Under USA credit report law you are entitled to request and receive a free credit report check every 12 months from each of the three main reporting agencies.
What is a credit report and what purpose does it serve?
Simply put, a credit report is a documented record of all your credit use activities. Whenever you have a credit card or consumer loan, ongoing notes of how you use those financial instruments is kept on file by credit reporting agencies. Your credit history tells a lot about how you operate fiscally. This is of great interest to a company considering you for a new car loan or home mortgage for example. If you have paid all your bills on time and paid off previous loans as agreed, a new lender is more likely to approve your request and offer you better finance rates in the future.
You are entitled to receive a free credit report by law from the three credit report companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. This is not a free government credit check as many people believe but it is mandated by law. It is important to review your free credit report with score from each credit reporting company at least on an annual basis, preferably more often especially if you are planning on buying a house, a new car, or other large financed purchase.
Several companies also offer credit report monitoring services for a nominal fee. Although not always necessary, the convenience of having your credit files monitored for irregularities and automatically receiving credit file updates can be reassuring and a great help to many people. Totally free credit reports are available so you can check your credit annually but you should also at least be aware of and consider these additional services.
How do you request free credit report?
Get free credit reports by contacting each of the three main reporting agencies:
P.O. Box 105873
Atlanta, GA 30348
(Experian was formerly known as TRW)
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
(800) 916-8800 or (800) 888-4213
You will need to provide detailed personal information such as your name, current address, previous addresses, a telephone number, your US social security number, and date of birth. Also, in order to verify your identity additional information such as a copy of your driver’s license, utility bill, or bank account statement may be required. Each agency has its specific requirements.
A good credit record starts with using credit wisely. But sometimes errors or inaccuracies can appear on your credit record which can negatively affect your personal or business credit record. And today with the growing regularity of credit card fraud and identity theft it is more important than ever to continuously monitor and protect you good name and credit history.
So don’t procrastinate any longer – get started today with your free yearly credit check.
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