So I think by now we all realize the importance of having a good and clean credit report. And in order to stay on top of this, we must monitor our credit report from time to time. Most people will say that, at the very least, you should check your credit report at least one time a year.
But of course, if you listen to all the commercials out there for businesses that say they will monitor your credit report for you, you need to check it every single day. Well, I think that realistically you should fall somewhere in the middle. If someone, God forbid, has compromised your credit, I think that waiting for almost a year is too long. On the other hand, I think that having a service that constantly monitors it is a little over the top.
And, most importantly, I think that PAYING to have your credit report monitored is absolutely insane.
So, what I will outline for you here is an easy and simple way to get a fresh copy of your credit report every four months without paying a dime.
You see, any of these sites or businesses that want to charge you money to monitor your report are just trying to take your money. Really. It can all be done for free. And, it is incredibly simple.
First, you'll ant to go to the following website. Now, make sure you type it in exactly as you see it below (or copy and paste it) because there are several copycat sites out there with similar addresses.
Now, from there, you'll have to enter some personal information in order for them to access your file. Once that's done, I believe they will ask you which credit report that you want. There are actually three different national credit reporting agencies---Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax.
It doesn't matter which one you access first, just follow the prompts to get one of them. Then, you can either print it or you can have online access to it for thirty days. Personally, I ordered mine first, glanced at it look for any major errors, and went back later when I had more time to look at it in depth and print it off.
You are allowed one free copy of your credit report per year per agency. So now, you simply need to set up a schedule where every four months you go to the site and request a copy of your report from one of the other two agencies.
So, now that you have the system set up, let me go into a little detail of what you need to do with the reports. Obviously, make sure you recognize everything that is there. If this is your first time doing it, and your credit history is less than stellar, I would really go thru it with a fine tooth comb. You'd be surprised at what "small" things on there may be having a big effect on your rating.
After you've done that the first time the rest is pretty much maintenance. You are just looking to make sure that all of the information is accurate. Especially, any "negative" information, which it should spell out for you in separate section. Of course, if there is something there that doesn't belong there, immediately start the process to fix it. The instructions are right there as well and are easy to follow.
For example, I just requested mine for the first time in about a year and for some reason there was one negative item there. I never saw it there before but it was there now. It said that I made a credit card payment late in April of 2003. Well, I researched it and sure enough, I did--by two days!! So, the good news is that it wasn't a mistake--the bad news is that I will have this on my record until April of 2010 (most things like this will stay there for seven years).
Hopefully, you won't have any mistakes and you can being to monitor your credit report every four months for absolutely nothing!!
To learn more about improving your personal finances, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Be a Mule—A Common Sense Guide to Saving More, Spending Less and Generating extra Income in Your Everyday Life.”
Causes David Bakke Supports
Anyone's desire to get out of debt!
I also generously support The Salvation Army and the Vietnam Veterans Association.