One of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your credit rating is in good standing is to protect your credit. Your credit rating can be a beneficial tool in helping you loan money in the form of car loans, credit cards and mortgages, however it can also cause a person hardships if their rating is low. Here are some tips on protecting one of your most important financial assets.
Check Your Credit Report Regularly
One of the ways that you can protect your credit rating is to check your report on a regular basis to find out if there are any errors or if identity theft has occurred. You can request a copy of your credit report at any time and in most cases you can receive one free credit report once a year from each of the top three credit bureaus. The top three credit bureaus are; Expedia, Trans Union and Equifax.
Once you receive your credit report, either by fax, email or through the mail go through it making sure that everything detailed is correct. If there is an error, contact the reporting bureau immediately. In most cases you may also need to contact the creditor as well. If you notice that a new loan or credit card was taken out under your name, this may be a sign of identity theft and you should contact the credit bureau and the financial institution immediately.
Freeze Your Credit Report
Another way to stop identity theft and secure your credit rating is to freeze your credit report. When you freeze your credit report, the credit bureau is not allowed to release key information to a lender unless permission by you has been given first. In order for a loan or new credit line to be processed, it usually requires a copy of your credit report. If a financial institution does not have access to your credit report, they will not be able to green light credit. Freezing your credit report has been shown as an extremely effective way to reduce identity theft and stop unsolicited peeks of your credit rating by those that you wish to not give access to.
It should be noted that freezing your credit report is usually a paid service offered by the three credit bureaus. You can find out more, by visiting each of the three credit bureaus online.