Credit report

You can get a free credit report every week in 2022. Here’s how

Accessing your credit report has never been easier. The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax and Experianextended their participation in a program first launched in 2020, providing Americans with free access to their credit reports on AnnualCreditReport.com.

Before this program began, Americans could receive one free report per year; now free reports are available weekly. As online scammers continue to target new victims and pirates around the world innovate new tactics to access your financial informationfree access to your credit profile can help you monitor your accounts closely.

Examine and understand your credit report is a key element of fiscal responsibility. Credit reports show, in detail, all credit usage, payment activity and legal actions taken based on these accounts. When you look at your report, the activity should look familiar. If not, the potentially harmful activity should be investigated further. Misinformation or fraudulent accounts not only have an immediate impact on you, but there are also long-term effects to be aware of.

“Your credit rating means more than whether or not you’re able to open a credit card,” said Monica Dwyer, vice president and wealth advisor for Harvest Financial Advisors. “That can sometimes determine whether or not you get a good or good interest rate on your next house or car purchase – or if you can get the loan at all. If you are renting, that can be the deciding factor for whether you can even rent or not.”

Credit activity also has a direct impact on your credit score. For example, late payments and high credit usage will lower your score, making it harder to open lines of credit, including products like mortgages — in the future.

To access free weekly reports, visit AnnualCreditReport.com and begin the process to request your reports. You will be asked for your personal information and then you will be linked to the websites of the three offices where there will be a series of questions to verify your identity. Once you have proven who you are, that agency’s report on you will be available for review. Verify that all information is correct and download a copy for your records.

If, after reviewing your credit, all three are correct, then congratulations: you have not been the victim of identity theft. On the other hand, any fraudulent account or incorrect information must be contested with the specific office who provided this report. Also, keep in mind that this is a credit report and not a credit score. These can be obtained by credit reporting agencies through their respective monitoring services.

Also note that reviewing your credit file is different from credit monitoring, which proactively monitors your credit (among other things) and alerts you when activity is detected. If you are looking for proactive, hands-off credit and identity protection, consider a paid service like LifeLock.