It is now recommended that you get a free credit report once a year. The reason for this is the rise in the incidence of identity theft and online fraud. The government were so concerned about this that they have made it the right of every citizen to obtain a free report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Although many people have heard about the problem of identity theft, many are still not exercising their right to get a free credit report once a year. This maybe because they are not aware that it is now a legal right to get their report for no charge. Others may just be apathetic.
But fraud is a big problem. If a criminal gets hold of your identity they can take out loans and get credit in your name. Typically none of these will be repaid. This will result in you receiving a poor credit score and it can take months or even years to clear your name.
By getting a free credit report once a year you can check that everything on your file is as it should be. You can apply to each of the 3 credit bureaus to receive a copy of your credit report. These are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. When you receive your report you should go through it with a fine tooth comb to make sure that there are no errors on it.
You can also use it as an opportunity to see how you are coping with your credit arrangements and if you should change anything. It is a good idea to make a note of when you requested your report so that you can order one again at the same time next year. You could either make a note on the calendar or maybe choose a significant date such as a birthday. That way you can get a free credit report once a year and track how you are managing your commitments.