If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard there was yet another corporate data security breach. This time it was at Anthem Health Insurance.
If you are an Anthem member, you can get two years of free credit monitoring. Anthem will be posting details here later today. Add that to my free year of credit monitoring at Home Depot and then another from Target and I’m going on four years of unpaid credit monitoring. Thanks a lot criminals!
On that note…go check your credit.
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 U.S. government has made it free and easy for you to know exactly what’s on your credit report. AnnualCreditReport is the official site. Do not go anywhere else for your free reports!
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.