Just like you go to the doctor for regular checkups, you must check up on your credit health regularly too. Most people think checking their credit report once a year is enough, but it’s not. In today’s era of identity theft and hacking, you must stay on top of your credit report and catch errors or fraudulent information early. The longer you let it sit, the harder it is to remove from your credit report and the more damage it does. So how often should you check your credit report? Ideally, you should check it monthly, but at the very least, quarterly. Here’s why.
It may sound like just another thing to add to your ‘to do’ list that doesn’t get done, but we don’t recommend skipping checking your credit report for these reasons:
The idea behind checking your credit report frequently is to ensure all information is accurate and to inform you of any issues you must address, such as collections, late payments, or overextending your credit lines.
Fortunately, it’s easy to check your credit reports. Here are a few ways. AnnualCreditReport.com
AnnualCreditReport.com offer you one check of your credit report for free from each credit bureau annually, but they’ve extended the offer to weekly reports for the time being to ensure users are fully aware of their credit status and can make informed decisions. You won’t have access to your credit scores on AnnualCreditReport.com, but you’ll see your entire credit report.
Experian provides free monthly credit reports and access to your Experian credit score. It’s free to use Experian, but you’ll get bombarded with emails and offers based on your credit score and financial needs, so be prepared.
Equifax, like Experian, offers free credit report access, but only once a year. You’ll get access to all the information reported to Equifax, but not your credit score.
Credit Karma works with Equifax and TransUnion to provide you with credit reports and scores from both credit bureaus for free.
Choose a frequency to check your credit report free and do it consistently. It can make the difference between good and bad credit, especially if you’re a victim of identity theft or human error.
Even if everything on your credit report is accurate, it helps you see how your financial decisions affect your credit score. Use the information to make better choices and improve your credit score.
Pulling your own credit reports doesn’t hurt your credit. They don’t count as an inquiry and no one will even know you’re doing it. Pulling your credit is like going to the doctor for a checkup – do it often and you’ll keep your credit in good shape.