Everyone can benefit from having a good credit score, as it affects far more than just your ability to obtain a piece of plastic. Your credit score will not only determine if a lender extends you a loan or a mortgage, but at what interest rate. Failing to ensure that your credit score is in the optimum range may end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost preferential interest rates.
Renting a property and even applying for a job may on all be dependant on your credit score, as well as the level of premiums you pay for auto and home insurance. Thus it is always prudent to not just coast along presuming that as you use credit you are actually considered a good risk, but to check and make sure you are. As of 1.1.2011 most consumers are now allowed a free copy of their credit score, if they apply for any form of credit and do not receive the ‘best’ interest rate on offer.
This does not extend to those who receive the best interest advertised interest rate nor those who are simply declined credit. The latter are entitled to a free copy of the credit report which the lender used to assess their risk. The lender who rejects an application must tell you whihc bureau provided the report and the bureau is legally obliged to furnish a free report, in addition to a free annual report, providing a request is made within sixty days of being declined credit. The same stipulation applies to those turned down for employment or rented housing.
Credit reports may possibly show that your credit rating is really not up to scratch. There are times when inaccurate information can show up on a credit file too, and an annual check up ensures that you can do something positive to rectify this as your right.
You are able to request a copy of your credit file once a year for free. The three major credit reporting agencies are Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax, and they have jointly come together to provide you with one easy way to obtain your complete credit file, without applying to each individual bureau. It is a simple matter to apply for your credit file for free through www.annualcreditreport.com. If you would prefer to stagger the reports so that you can keep a more regular check, then you can apply once a year to each individual credit bureau for the credit report they hold on you.
If you have experienced financial difficulties then steer clear of any agency which offers to obtain your credit report for a fee, as this is simply unnecessary. Some people also pay tracking agencies so they can obtain their credit report more frequently for a fee, but this again isn’t necessary unless you are absolutely mired down in complicated financial transactions which you believe will affect your credit score.
The main thing for you to remember regarding your credit file, is that the annual reports will not be sent to you automatically; you must make an application for it yourself. As it is fee free to do so it is wise to ensure that you do request an annual report, and then file it to compare with future reports.