Your credit report is essentially a breakdown of all of your lines of credit, with a different report generated by each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It’s a crucial part of your finances, which can impact everything from whether or not your application for a new credit card is approved to interest rates on loans for your car or home.
You should take a look at your credit report regularly, especially with the risk of identity theft and data breaches, and it can be helpful if you’re trying to pay off debt and find some credit card relief. For more, look into Freedom Debt Relief reviews from customers.
If you’re asking yourself, “When should I review my credit report?” the answer is there are a few key times. You should check your credit report at least once a year to ensure it doesn’t have any errors, and in fact, you’re entitled to one free credit report from all three major credit bureaus once every 12 months. But that’s certainly not the only time.
While checking annually is fine, you may want to consider checking monthly, as this is how often your credit score is updated. It also helps you catch errors more quickly, which in turn helps resolve them more quickly and could even make the process easier.
If you’re looking to make a major purchase that requires some type of loan, such as a car or mortgage, you should check your credit report. Ideally, take a look three to six months before you intend to make the purchase. If you know your credit score needs improved to get the best rates, you’ll have time to take steps to improve it, and being aware of what’s on the report well in advance will prevent any surprises during the application process.
Credit reports don’t just affect home loans–they can also have an impact for renters, as some landlords and rental companies require a credit check.
You are legally entitled to a free copy of your credit report if your credit report was used to deny your application for a credit card or loan. If you were surprised by a denial, it might be a good time to make sure your report is up to date and free of errors or fraudulent activity.
You should also keep a close eye on your credit report if you think you may be at risk for fraud or if your information may have been part of a data breach, especially if someone may have access to personal information such as your Social Security number or account numbers. Keep a close eye on your report for suspicious activity, like hard inquiries to open a new line of credit that you didn’t approve.
Some prospective employers may want to take a look at your credit report during the hiring process, as some consider potential employees more likely to commit fraud or theft if they’re experiencing financial trouble. So if you’re considering looking for a new job, take a look at it first to make sure there are no red flags to keep you from moving along in the process or getting hired.
As assets are split during a divorce, you’ll want to make sure that these are reported accurately.
A simple but important step in controlling your finances is being able to answer the question, “When should I review my credit report?” There are a number of times when you should keep an eye on your credit, from major life events like a job change or divorce to after being denied additional credit.