It is important to keep track of what is on your credit report by checking it at least once a year. With the amount of free online credit report companies, it is relatively easy to secure a copy of your credit report and make sure everything on it is accurate. However, if you are planning to apply for a home loan, you should get a copy of your credit report before you talk to your lender and obtaining just one credit report might not be enough.
Credit card companies and lenders report your account activity to the three national credit monitoring bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Companies aren't required to submit your information to all three bureaus, so it is possible that the information contained on a report from one agency will differ from the information contained on another. You never know which agency your lender is going to use, so to get a complete picture of your credit score, it is a good idea to get a credit report from each bureau.
Benefits to accepting a free trial to obtain a credit report
Joining a credit monitoring system is a good idea in the months before you apply for a home loan. It can keep you advise about who has been checking your credit, alert you if someone tries to open an account in your name, and generally keep you from finding a costly surprise the morning you go to apply for your loan. Joining a free trial in order to obtain a free 3 in 1 credit report is a great way to save money, as long as you remember to cancel the trial once the free period is over.
Things to consider when accepting a free trial to obtain a credit report
Always make sure you do your homework before you sign up for any kind of free trial online. Make sure you read the fine print so you don't later find you are obligated to continue the service for a certain amount of time after the free trial expires. Even if there are no obligations beyond the free trial period, it may be up to you to contact the company and turn off the service or you will start being charged. If you are not good about details and think that you might forget to have the service discontinued, a free trial might not be your best option. It is possible to obtain a free copy of your credit report directly from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year. This does require individually requesting your report from each company, but it won't obligate you to any other services.
Deciding whether or not to do a free trial is really a matter of preference. Do you want to trade the inconvenience of turning off the trial for the inconvenience of doing all the individual file requesting yourself?