Check Your Credit Reports Often

The annualcreditreport.com website was created in order to comply with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) to provide a mechanism for American consumers to receive an annual free credit report online by the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies, namely Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Annualcreditreport.com requires users to register with the site and provide their basic identification information, such as name, address and social security number. In order to obtain a free credit report, users are not required to give a credit card number but establishing an account is required by some of the agencies. Any inaccuracies or signs of identity theft may be dealt with using the mechanisms provided for under the FCRA and FACTA. A consumer can request reports from all three agencies at the same time or stagger the requests throughout the twelve month period as a means to monitor their credit score data. Each of the three credit bureaus offers credit scores as an extra feature of the report for a fee.

To find out what your scores are this is not always the cheapest way even though it is free without scores. Another way to get a credit report for free without scores is by request if you are seeking employment or have been turned down for credit. All you need to do is contact these credit bureaus and make a request. Credit scoring is a quick way for lenders, insurance companies and employers to determine financial responsibility or the possibility of default. It’s a good idea to be prepared and know what your scores are. This way you will understand where they fall within the Experian credit score scale. The three major credit reporting agencies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian all offer tri-merged credit reports with scores for a fee to consumers at any time.

Another option is to enroll in a monthly credit monitoring or identity protection plan with a free trial to get a credit report with free credit scores. Some consider these plans a ripoff because they are marketed as a free credit report when you have to pay a monthly fee after the trial period ends. Credit monitoring customers have been alerted to late payments and other potential problems early on though. Learning about issues early on makes it much easier to get them corrected. Knowing about potential credit issues before applying for a loan will keep you from getting turned down or denied. Some credit card companies offer credit monitoring services as part of your credit card membership benefits package.

It does not matter where you get your credit report as long as you check it at least once a year for potential problems. Take care of errors and get them fixed before applying for credit is much better than being surprised. For people with bad credit working on it and monitoring your progress will improve your credit rating.

NB. Annualcreditreport.com is not accessible for users outside the United States, to obtain a similar report from the United Kingdom, you can use services provided by websites like creditexpert.co.uk, a website run by Experian.