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When it comes to sitting down with a good read, you would probably prefer an intriguing novel or your favorite magazine rather than your credit report. But your credit report is a document that you should check regularly, ideally at least once every four months. That’s why you should start the New Year on a high note and read your credit report carefully in early 2022.
Why Checking Your Credit Report Is Important
In general, it’s a good idea to review your credit report at the start of the year to find out what your financial situation looks like. Your credit report will contain details about your current loans and credit cards, what your balances look like, and how well you’ve been tracking your payments.
Examining your credit report might inspire you to make positive changes that will improve your finances for the New Year. Suppose you go to your report in January and notice that you have a fairly high balance on your various credit cards. Not only could this mean accumulating a lot of interest, but it could also damage your credit score by accumulating too high a credit utilization rate. Seeing this information clearly on your credit report could give you the incentive to find a second job and use your income to pay off your credit card debt.
Your credit report can also help you spot fraud early. Imagine that you notice an open credit card on your report that you don’t recognize. It could just be a mistake, as credit report errors are quite common. But it could also be that a criminal got hold of your Social Security number, used it to open an account in your name, and started charging expenses on it. This is the kind of thing you want to know.
The benefits of checking your credit report in early 2022
Normally, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three major reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. But for now, credit reports are available for free on a weekly basis through April due to the high levels of fraud that emerged during the pandemic. Checking your credit report in early 2022 really pays off, because if you spot an error or fraud, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to keep pulling your report without a follow-up fee.
Granted, the free weekly credit reports could be extended beyond April, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. You better take advantage of these free weekly reports while you can.
An important reading
Some people have never checked their credit reports in their lifetime, while others might check theirs once a year and call it a day. The reality is, if you don’t see anything suspicious on your credit report, you really don’t need to check it every week, or even every month.
But even if your credit report looks clean and doesn’t raise any red flags, it’s best to plan to check it three times a year. It shouldn’t cost you anything and it could help your finances a lot.
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