Hopefully this is just a reminder, but if checking your credit report is not a familiar process, then this is something you need to get on top of ASAP. Make it your New Year’s Resolution.
The only way to get your truly free report is to go to Annual Credit Report. From there, you can get reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
If you want to know your score, you will be given the option for purchasing this. Unless you have a real need to know / improve your score, this isn’t necessary.
You can pick the agency that you want your report from. It will ask you some information that you need to enter that should be known only by you. Once everything is complete, you’ll get to review what the credit reporting bureau knows about you.
I recommend reviewing this list item by item. It should have listings for any agencies to which you owe debt, including mortgage debt, student loan debt, credit cards, etc. It will even contain information about accounts you’ve closed or no longer have active for the last few years. Go through each of these and make sure you’re familiar and more importantly, in agreement, with what the report says. If not, there is instructions on how you get more information or dispute anything that appears that may not be incorrect.
Reviewing your report is crucial to being financially healthy. By reviewing your report, you’ll make sure that you know about all credit and debt, you’ll be able to resolve any inaccuracies or fraud before they can really bite you (aka when you need to apply for something and get denied).
You can check your score from each agency once per 12 month period. I recommend setting a revolving schedule where you check one report from a different agency every four months. Make sure to do this for every member of your household that may have a credit report (meaning someone who has taken out credit in some form or another).
We just checked our Equifax reports yesterday and are happy to report that everything looks in order!