How to Get Your Free Credit Report Every Week – Forbes Advisor


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When the pandemic began, the three major credit bureaus gave Americans free weekly access to their credit reports, instead of the once-a-year access normally required by federal law.

These credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—announced another extension of weekly access until the end of 2022.

The common bureau hub for free credit reports, AnnualCreditReport.com, generally allows consumers to access a free credit report from each bureau each year. The extension of the weekly allowance again gives consumers more time to monitor their credit history more closely as they continue to manage their finances in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The combined pressures of job changes, inflation, market uncertainty and health anxiety continue to present consumers with enormous challenges,” credit bureau CEOs said in a statement. joint statement on January 24, 2022. “Our industry’s hope is to support consumers as they make decisions, big and small, by making it easier to track their financial health on a regular basis.”

Why You Should Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Your credit report shows any credit cards or loans you have opened (such as auto, student, or personal loans) and the balances on those accounts. Whether you have a lot of debt or no debt at all, it’s important to keep an eye on this report because you need to demonstrate good credit health if you want to access new credit, such as buying a new car or a new car. home later.

Read more: Credit Score Vs. Credit Report: Why You Need to Understand Both

Creditors typically report the status and balance of your payments to the credit bureaus monthly, but there’s no fixed timeline for when this should happen in any given month. More frequent access to credit reports can be particularly helpful for consumers participating in temporary forbearance programs offered by creditors during the pandemic by allowing them to keep near real-time tabs on whether debt is being reported correctly. .

The CARES Act required many creditors report accounts under temporary forbearance as current rather than past due, including federal student loans, which are on hold until May 1. This significant difference can help preserve credit scores as much as possible during the pandemic.

Fraudsters have made quick work of taking advantage of people during the pandemic: Identity theft reports presented to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more than doubled between 2019 and 2020, with credit card fraud, government document or benefits fraud, and loan/lease fraud being the most prevalent types of identity theft in 2020 and 2021.

Checking your credit report often helps you identify potential fraud early and mitigate potential long-term damage to your credit. When scammers steal your information, they can continue to defraud you, so you should continue to monitor your credit reports.

How to Access Your Free Credit Reports

To access your free credit reports, visit AnnualCreditReport.com. You will need to answer a few questions to prove your identity in order to see your reports. If you have difficulty accessing your report online, you can also request it by phone or email. You can choose to access your report for one of the three credit bureaus or all three simultaneously.

These reports do not display a credit score, but provide a complete history of your financial activities, including payment history and balances for credit cards, mortgages, and auto, personal, or student loans.

When you access your report, make sure all the information is correct. If you paid at least the minimum on time each month, your accounts should be listed as good standing. If you have overdue payments or a collection account, this will also be noted on your report.

Read more: How to deal with errors on your credit report

If you see an error on your report, don’t wait to dispute it with the credit bureau. Begin the process as soon as possible to verify the accounts in question. The FTC has a guide and sample letters to do this. You will also need to contact the creditor in question to correct the status of your account.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft after reviewing your reports, report it to voldidentite.gov.

Remember: Each credit bureau may have different information about your financial history, so be sure to check each one for accuracy.

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