Frequent monitoring of our personal credit report is vital to ensure
protection from identity theft. Sadly, many people feel invincible. Thus,
they do not take the necessary steps to protect their credit rating.
However, preventing identity theft can be as simple as checking your
credit report twice annually. This way, if unfamiliar accounts are present,
you can contact the credit bureaus and begin an investigation.
Purpose of Credit Reports and Scores
If you have established a credit history, then you likely recognize the
value of credit reports and scoring. Without these two instruments,
lenders would be unable to judge a loan applicant's credit worthiness.
Credit reports and scoring alert lenders to individuals who use credit
irresponsibly, and those who make smart credit decisions. Thus, before
issuing a credit card or approving a loan application, all creditors will
attain an updated copy of your credit report.
Reasons to Monitor Your Credit Report
Credit report monitoring should not be ignored. When it comes to
identity theft, anyone can become a victim. In order for someone to open a
credit account is your name, the only information they need is your name,
address, and social security number.
In some instances, locating this information is simple. Some fraudulent
persons steal pre-approval credit card applications from mailboxes,
whereas others rummage through garbage cans looking for personal account
information. Unless you obtain a copy of your credit report and check
for inaccuracies, fraudulent credit accounts will go undetected.
How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
Getting a copy of your personal credit report is simple. All consumers
are entitled to one free credit report annually. However, you may check
your credit as often as you like. If you have internet access, it is
possible to obtain a 3-in-1 report online. Reports are viewable online.
Therefore you do not have to wait for a mailed copy.
Those without internet access may attain copies of all three credit
reports from local credit bureaus. On average, credit reports cost about
$ 15 each. When checking reports for errors and inaccuracies, it is
important to review reports from each of the three bureaus. Why? Some
creditors do not report to all three bureaus. Here, a credit mistake may
only be included on one report.