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Not checking your credit can be expensive. The information in your credit reports (and the credit scores derived from them) is often used to help determine interest rates on credit cards, car loans and mortgages. Even some insurance discounts are based on credit scores, and some employers use a credit check in the hiring process. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how mistakes or problems you weren’t aware of could end up costing you a lot of money.
Does that mean you need to be obsessive about checking your credit reports? Not necessarily. Here are some guidelines for how often to get yours.
Just like you (hopefully) get an annual physical, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports once a year. You’re entitled to getting your credit reports for free every 12 months. You can get them online at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877-322-8228. There, you’ll be able to get your report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Keep in mind that not every creditor reports to all three, so it’s a good idea to get your reports from each to make sure there are no mistakes on any of them.
Also, checking your own credit report won’t affect your credit scores like a hard inquiry by a creditor would.
But getting your free credit reports once a year isn’t always enough. Monitoring your credit more frequently can be important if you:
There are two ways to monitor your credit more frequently:
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How to Fix Errors on Your Credit Report
What many Americans don’t know is there may be a lot of errors and negative items on their credit report. In fact, it’s reported that as many as one in five Americans have mistakes on their credit report.
Click here to learn about the strategies used to fix credit errors.
Lexington Law offers services to dispute unfair negative items. Call for a FREE consultation:
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