January is a time for new resolutions. I myself have resolved to go to gym more often, to back off from diet soda and to clean out my junk e-mail box on a regular basis. While these are important goals, often other important aspects of our lives go unnoticed. With this in mind, I have found that we often overlook other important areas of our lives such as the health of our credit. One of the most important things we can do in relation to our credit health is to check our credit on a regular basis.
Resources to Check Your Credit Report
Fortunately, there are several ways that we can obtain a copy of our credit reports. Credit Reports can be obtained as follows:
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You may order these free reports through the Internet at https://www.annualcreditreport.com or by telephone by calling 1-877-322-8228.
- If you prefer to purchase your credit reports online, the following link is an easy way to obtain a 3-in-1 credit report. (Please make sure you specify that you want all three credit reports.) https://www.bestcreditreports.com.
How to Check Your Credit Report
Once you have received your reports, review them item by item to make sure that the items: i) Belong on your report; ii) Are accurately reported (look closely at whether payments are accurately noted ); and iii) Are not reported in a manner that would mislead a potential creditor, insurer or employer. It is also important to review the inquiries on your report to make sure someone else is not attempting to use your good name and credit.
So, it is January, let us resolve to check our credit reports on a regular basis.