If you’re looking to improve your finances this year, you’ll probably want to assess which areas of your finances need the most attention. A great place to start is to draft a financial plan of action and order a copy of your credit report
. That will not only help you understand what your current credit status is, but it can also help you take steps towards protecting your credit. Just follow these simple steps:
• Order a free copy of your credit report. Under federal law, each year you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each the three major credit bureaus – Experian®, Equifax® and TransUnion®. You can request them by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
• Choose which credit report you want to see. If you do choose to request your report(s) from AnnualCreditReport.com, be sure to choose all three reports, since Experian, Equifax and TransUnion receive and prepare information about you in different ways. It’s important to see your entire credit picture when you’re interested in making informed decisions about your finances — especially if you notice some inaccurate information in one or more of your reports.
• Investing in credit monitoring. A smarter financial move may be to use an ongoing monitoring service such as Identity Guard®. It may cost a little more, but it can be well worth your investment because, not only will the service provide you with your current credit reports and scores*, it will also keep an eye out for certain kinds of activity in your credit file to help protect you from credit fraud and identity theft.
*The scores you receive with Identity Guard® are provided for educational purposes to help you understand your credit. Lenders use many different credit scoring systems, and the scores you receive with Identity Guard are not the same scores used by lenders to evaluate your credit.
Credit scores are provided by CreditXpert based on data from the credit reporting bureaus.