Annual Credit Report | Why You Need To Check It Every Year
Checking your annual credit report is important so that you can make sure there are no errors on your credit report that can cause your credit score to drop and for you to avoid identity theft. Having a clean credit report and a high credit score helps you save money on mortgages, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, auto insurance, home insurance, and even makes it more likely that you get a job. Keep reading to find out more about how important your annual credit report is to your financial health.
Checking Your Annual Credit Report
There are certain things to look out for when you are getting your annual credit report. First of all, you should not be paying for it and you should be getting a free annual credit report. Clicking any one of these links in this page will get you a free annual credit report and score. When you are looking at your credit report, look out for any open lines of credit that you are unfamiliar with. That is is most important because an identity thief can open a line of credit in your name without your knowing. You actually want to check your credit report 4 times a year and once every quarter. This ensures that you are always checking it and catching anything right away.
Next you want to look for an inquiries. A credit inquiry which is also called a hard inquiry or a hard pull. This is a request from a financial institution to check your credit report. You will need to give permission for them to check your credit report. By law, this is called permissible purpose. You will need to give permission and this is usually done when you start your relationship with a financial business.
Another reason why to monitor your credit is that credit grantors and credit reporting agencies make mistakes all the time. Sometimes they may switch information with another person because your names are similar or if your social security numbers are off by a couple of numbers. It’s important to stay on top of the ball and catch these as soon as they happen. Then you can dispute anything that is an error.
Disputing an error on your credit report involves sending a letter via certified mail to the credit grantor about the mistake. When you dispute the item in writing, the credit grantor will have 30 days to respond to your request. They will have to respond to you in writing and you can have the negative or erroneous information removed once they respond.