It is important to have a good credit score as this simple number impacts your life in several ways, including simple tasks like applying for a credit card and getting a mortgage or a loan or sometimes even getting your tenancy application approved. Banks, insurance companies, landlords, employers, even mobile phone companies will use your credit score to judge your credit worthiness so it is important to have a good credit score. The first step in improving your credit score is to first find out what your score is.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are guaranteed access to a free credit report once a year from the three national credit reporting companies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You can opt to go to their individual websites, or you can use the free service at AnnualCreditReport.com, which allows you to order your report from all three agencies, to obtain your free annual credit report. Don’t be tempted to use other websites as the Federal Trade Commission has stated that these are the only authorized sources of free credit reports in America.
Obtaining your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
There are three ways you can obtain your free credit score from this website. The first is to visit the site and follow the instructions on the screen. Alternatively, you can also call the company at +1-877-322-8228 to order your free credit report. The third option is to download a request form from the Annual Credit Report website and mail it to the company at the following address:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
You may request for your reports all at once or you can choose to stagger your free credit reports throughout the year. However, the latter option is a better idea as it will provide you with a more consistent monitoring of your credit score.
How to read a credit report
It is important to monitor your credit score as it is vital to so many aspects of your life. Keeping tabs on your credit score is also the easiest way to spot identity theft. When you receive your free credit report, look through the accounts and make sure that you recognize all of them. The credit report should have a list of all your credit accounts, along with your payment history. It will also contain public records like bankruptcy reports and tax liens. You will also be able to find out who has made an inquiry on your credit history. If there is inaccurate information, call the credit reporting agency immediately to dispute the errors.