We recently shared a post which highlighted the differences between your credit score and credit report and how your credit can impact some of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make as a couple. Fortunately, monitoring your credit is free and easy — as in, 5-10 minutes every 4 months.
Not too shabby for some peace of mind.
Thanks to our lovely politicians, you are entitled to a free credit report, every 12 months, from each of the following three credit reporting agencies:
As we’re about to kick off the new year, we recommend that you pull your reports from each agency at least once per year, staggering the requests so you get one report every four months (e.g. Equifax in January, Experian in May, TransUnion in Sept).
To make sure we remember to check our reports throughout the year, we set a calendar reminder on January 15th, May 15th, and September 15th. You can even copy and paste the link to this article into your calendar reminder for easy access to instructions.
When I (Hannah) recently checked my credit report on Experian, I identified an incorrect spelling of my name and had it resolved within two days!
To check your report follow these easy steps:
- Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com
- Click the red “Request Your Free Credit Reports” button in the bottom left corner
- On the next page, click the red “Request Your Credit Reports” button at the bottom. You’ll be prompted to provide your name, Social Security number and other personal information.
- Select the report you want to run. Again, we recommend spreading out these reports over the year. However, if you discover an error on one of your credit reports, it’s recommended that you pull your free credit report from all bureaus at that time in order to ensure that error is not pervasive.
- Answer Identity Verification Questions (the website is confirming it is you)
- Review your credit report and ensure that the information on all of your credit reports is correct and up-to-date
- Print or save each report for your records
While we still recommend pulling your own reports each year, there are also free services that can help you monitor changes on your reports. We both use Credit Karma as well, which monitors and lets you pull your reports from TransUnion and Equifax.
Disclaimer: At the time of this post, we do not have any affiliate marketing relationships with Credit Karma. We recommend the service from our own personal experiences.
How often do you think you’ll check your credit reports each year? Has checking your credit report led you to finding any errors? Comment below and let us know!