What's the importance of checking your credit score regularly? Well you're definitely more likely to notice any problems or errors if you check your credit score on a constant basis. Also if there are any errors you will be able to catch them much earlier. At minimum you should be checking your credit score once a year if not up to three times. Check your credit score with all three bureaus because they are often full of different information. The companies that report to the credit agencies are not obligated to do so and most of the time only report to one or two of them. The most important thing when reading your credit reports is to look for any charges or accounts you're not familiar with. If any such accounts are on your report be sure to notify the Bureau immediately.
Sometimes these mistakes are the credit bureaus fault, but other times it could be caused by some form of identity theft. Finding these mistakes early and correcting them is a great way to improve your credit score.
If you think you have fallen prey to identity theft you should spring into action as soon as possible. Like I said before contact the three credit reporting agencies and asked to speak to their fraud department. Explain everything that you know about the current situation and asked that an alert red flag be placed on your account. What this does is let any possible lender or creditor know they you may have been a victim of identity theft, they will in turn consider this when deciding on whether to extend you credit or not. The alert also serves another purpose which is notifying you any time a request is made to see your credit report. If requests are being made without your permission or knowledge that could be an indicator that a third-party could be trying to open accounts in your name.
When someone tries to open new lines of credit in your name they will be denied time and time again and most thieves will stop trying and move on to their next victim. The average alert stays in the system for 3 to 6 months but can be extended should you see fit. All you have to do is notify the bureaus in writing expressing your need to extend the red flag time period.
You can get a copy of your credit report free once a year and it would be the responsible of you not to take advantage of that offer.