Checking Your Credit Report

Credit, whether good or bad, can affect everything these days, from buying a car or a home to getting better insurance rates, but many people still have no idea what's on their credit reports. The truth is, having a solid credit history can go a long way in saving you money over time, even if you don't plan to make a big purchase or apply for a credit card. The good news is, checking your own credit report doesn't affect your credit score and doesn't need to cost you anything. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus, and there are several sites online that will monitor your credit for free. The top three sites are CreditSesame.com, CreditKarma.com and Quizzle.com. While the credit scores given by these free credit report and monitoring sites aren't always accurate, the information on your credit report usually is, so you can catch fraud and other issues before they become problematic. If you're interested in checking your credit report for free, keep reading to learn more. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions ( 8 )   Add a Question

  1. What if I find an item on my credit report that doesn't belong there?
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    All three of the top credit report monitoring sites offer ways for you to dispute items on your credit reports for free. Simply follow the instructions to dispute the items that do not belong, so they can be sumbitted to the credit bureaus for review and, if appropriate, removal from your report.

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  2. Can I check all three of my reports through the free credit monitoring sites online?
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    Typically, the free credit monitoring sites will give you access to one or two of your credit reports, but not all three. In some cases, you can pay for a premium membership if you need to see all three reports. Otherwise, you can get your annual free credit reports from all three bureaus by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.

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  3. What is the difference between my credit report and credit score?
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    Your credit score is based on an algorithm that assigns numbers to items on your credit report, giving you a number that can be viewed as good or bad by creditors. Your credit report, on the other hand, is a record of all credit activity in your file.

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  4. What information does credit report monitoring give me?
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    All of the top three credit monitoring sites will give you information regarding any activity on your monitored reports. Activity may include new accounts, closed accounts, past due accounts and more. This is a great way to get immediate updates on credit report activity, so you can spot any fraud before it becomes problematic.

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  5. How often should I check my credit report?
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    Everyone should check their own reports at least once per year. However, if you are planning to make a major purchase or are working on improving your credit, you may need to access your own credit file more frequently.

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  6. Are free online credit report monitoring services safe?
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    Yes, all of the top three online credit report monitoring services are safe to use and will not affect your credit in any way. For more information about security used by the top three sites, visit each site directly to get the most up to date security information.

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  7. Do I still have a credit report even if I've never applied for credit?
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    Yes, even if you've never applied for credit, you will still have a credit report available to view. Your report can contain information like job history, personal information, rental history, medical bills (both paid and unpaid) and more, so even if you've never applied directly for credit, you should still check your credit reports regularly.

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  8. Will my credit score be affected if I check my own credit report?
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    You can view your own credit report as many times as you like without penalty. When a creditor pulls your credit report, your score may be affected due to a "hard inquiry." However, pulling your own credit results in a "soft inquiry" which does not affect your score.

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