By law you’re entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), so a total of three reports each year. You can pull a copy online at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Rather than pulling all three reports at once, we recommend pulling one of the reports every four months – January, April & September. This will help you keep a year-round eye on your credit report and catch potential fraudulent activity sooner.
Review these four key areas of your credit report for accuracy:
- Personal information– Your name, address history, social security number, date of birth and employment history.
- Credit history– This is the largest section of your credit report, and will contain information on all the credit accounts you’ve either opened or co-signed for, including accounts you’ve closed.
- Credit report inquiries– Whenever someone inquires about your credit, such as a landlord, lender, or insurance company, this information is recorded and remains on your report for up to two years.
- Public records– Any public information, such as bankruptcy, late child support, or unpaid taxes, can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years. Comb through each of these sections and make sure that all the information is correct.