Credit Report Review
I’ve made a habit of reviewing my credit report three times per year. Identity theft is rampant and can be devastating. And I want to make sure there’s no inaccurate negative information on my report, or negative information that should have been removed because the (usually) 7-year limit has expired.
What’s the Point?
I don’t have immediate plans to apply for credit, but credit scores—which rely in part on a snapshot of an individual’s credit report—affect household expenses like insurance premiums and whether or not a vendor like your electric utility requires a deposit before doing business with a consumer. Also, it’s perfectly legal for employers and landlords to require an applicant’s permission for pulling a credit report as part of their consideration of whether to hire or rent.
A 2004 study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 25 percent of all credit reports included errors serious enough to cause denial of credit, a loan, an apartment or home loan, or even a job!
Get Three Credit Reports per Year FREE!
You and I have the right to get a free credit report once per year from each of the three credit reporting bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. So every four months I get my free credit report from one of the three bureaus. I rotate among the bureaus so I get the one free report from each bureau annually to which I’m entitled.
Then I follow the Federal Trade Commission’s procedures to force removal of inaccurate negative information.
More Opportunites for a Freebie
You’re also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in your report. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company.