Credit report

Why it pays to check your credit report in early 2022

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Make reviewing your credit report one of your must-do’s for 2022 – and don’t delay.

Key points

  • Checking your credit report regularly can help you keep tabs on your finances and spot fraud.
  • It’s especially a good idea to check your credit report in early 2022, as you can do it for free every week until April.

When it comes to sitting down with a good read, you’d probably rather research an intriguing novel or your favorite magazine than your credit report. But your credit report is a document you should check regularly – ideally, at least once every four months. That’s why you should start the new year on a good note and read your credit report carefully at the start of 2022.

Why checking your credit report is important

In general, it is advisable to examine your credit report at the beginning of the year in order to know your financial situation. Your credit report will contain details about your current loans and credit cards, what your balances look like, and how well you have tracked your payments.

Reviewing your credit report could 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 quite a high balance on your various credit cards. Not only could that mean racking up a lot of interest, but it could also mean damaging your credit score by racking up too much credit utilization. Seeing this information clearly on your credit report could inspire you to take on a second job and use your earnings to pay off your credit card debt.

Your credit report can also help you detect fraud early. Imagine noticing 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 fees on it. That’s the kind of thing you want to know.

The benefit 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 credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. But at present, credit reports are available for free on a weekly basis until April due to high levels of fraud that have 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 continue pulling your report at no charge to follow up.

Granted, 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 never checked their credit report in their lifetime, while others may check theirs once a year and call it a day. The reality is that if you don’t see anything suspicious on your credit report, there’s really no need to check it weekly, or even monthly.

But even if your credit report looks clean and raises no red flags, it pays 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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