Do you know what’s on your credit report? You really should. What’s on there can affect you for the rest of your life. Mortgage lenders, banks and credit card companies will check your credit report when you apply for an account and then check it regularly once your account is open. Some employers even check them before they’ll hire you. Typically the better your credit, the lower your cost of borrowing (interest rates).
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
Don’t check it from a public computer. Understand that you will be inputting your very personal info and answering verification questions to which only you should know the answers. You’ll get to see exactly what’s being reported and be able to dispute inaccuracies. You don’t get to see your credit score for free but each credit reporting company will offer to show your score for a fee.
Make checking your credit report a recurring annual task on your calendar. Print it out each year so you can compare the current report to last year’s report. Know where you stand in the world of credit.