It is your right to know what information credit reporting agencies are collecting about you. Auto and life insurance companies use this info as well as banks and credit card companies as they determine what interest rate to charge you. It is even more important to check your credit report annually if you spend a lot of time on the Internet.
One way to be sure that your identity has not been compromised is to review your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies annually. Look for incorrect information, wrong addresses, erroneous entries that do not belong to you, credit cards that you do not – nor have ever – owned, mysterious entries.
A word of caution is that there are other websites that claim to offer free credit reports or free credit monitoring; however, the only legitimate organization is hosted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. You do have to request it because they don’t automatically provide your credit report.
I set a task reminder for myself so I remember when the next time is that I can request this report. In fact, inside my Outlook task reminder, I put all the info I need as well as the website link so all I need to do is to click the link and not worry about accidentally accessing the incorrect website.
The website is: Annual Credit Report and phone is 1-877-322-8228.
Equifax: 1-800-685-1111; equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com
TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800; transunion.com
Tip: My son used to work for a bank. Because I’ve read that some people suggest you order one credit report at a time from the 3 major credit reporting agencies: one report every 4 months (one month from Equifax, 4 months later from Experian, and 4 months later from TransUnion), I asked him what the best way is to request my credit reports. He said the best way to catch a mistake or error is to request all 3 credit reports at the same time and then compare the 3 to each other. They should all be the same. You won’t notice any discrepancies if you order them separately.
TASK: Set up a recurring task reminder to order your free annual credit report from all three credit reporting agencies.
Did you find this information useful or helpful? Do you have other references that you would like to share? Please leave a comment so I can include appropriate information in updates that I send in newsletters or in my blogs