We talk a lot about how important it is to monitor your credit report using the free reports you can get at www.annualcreditreport.com. Here’s a great way to make the most of your free reports:
- Start by requesting a single report from one credit reporting agency. For this example, let’s say you request an Equifax in January, at the beginning of the year. Save or print the report and review it carefully to ensure that your creditors have accurately reported your accounts. If you open any disputes or contact a creditor about inaccurate reporting, make a note.
- After 4 months, request another report. For our example, let’s say you request an Experian report in May. Check your notes from the previously printed report and make sure that any requested corrections have been made. If not, open another dispute.
- After another 4 months, request a report from the remaining reporting agency. For our example, you’d request a TransUnion report in September. Repeat the process of reviewing your report and be proactive about correcting errors.
- After 4 more months, start again by requesting a copy of the report you requested one year ago.
You can see that with a little planning, you can continue to receive a free copy of your credit report three times per year, every year. Monitoring all three reports continuously is a great way to keep your credit on track and make sure you know what lenders will see when they check your report.