Ideally, your credit report is an accurate, up-to-date reflection of your credit history. However, since we don’t live in an perfect world and problems can occur, there are many reasons your credit report could contain errors that may prevent you from getting the credit you deserve.
Here are 5 REASONS to regularly review your credit report:
1.) Inaccuracies & Mixed Credit Files: Credit reports may include inaccuracies that can harm your credit rating. Many of these errors can be the result of clerical mistakes or computer glitches. Whether the inaccuracies relate to payments not credited, late payments, or data mixed in from the credit file of someone else with a name similar to yours, you should have these inaccuracies corrected as soon as possible to prevent any damage.
2.) Tracking & Payments: The fastest way to gain the confidence of lenders and creditors is to make those payments on time – every time. But what if a payment is lost in the mail or mistakenly recorded as “late”? This has a negative impact on your credit, and creditors don’t take it lightly. If you call your creditor and explain, they might adjust the info. But without your credit report you won’t be able to spot these mistakes and have them corrected.
3.) Identity Theft: This crime can do extensive damage before consumers are even aware of it. If you only check your credit report for one reason – this is the reason! With very little information, a thief can open new accounts in your name and run up large balances, leaving you to deal with the disastrous damage done to your good credit rating and your name. The best way to catch a thief who is using your identity is to get a copy of your credit report and look for accounts that you HAVE NOT opened. Report them immediately!
4.) Credit Inquiries: Who’s been looking at your credit report? A potential creditor, employer, landlord, hospital, insurance company, credit union, etc., may inquire about a person’s credit history before exchanging services for a fee. But be aware that too many inquiries could have a negative impact on your credit rating. If you didn’t authorize someone to look at your credit report and they did, they may have broken the law and your credit report needs to be updated.
5.) Credit Fraud – Unauthorized Charges: Credit fraud involves the theft of your credit card or account number to make charges to your account. Though consumers are protected financially from this abuse, creditors may take note of all this activity and decide to raise your interest rates or refuse to grant you a loan. Checking your credit report will help you monitor activity on all accounts that you haven’t been using, or may have closed recently.
* Under Federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report per year from all 3 credit bureaus. Request your reports at www.annualcreditreport.com