By federal law, you’re able to receive a free annual credit report from each of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you haven’t looked at your credit report all year, now’s a good time to order it. You can start the year off on the right credit foot.
The credit report won’t come to you automatically. Instead, you can check your free annual credit report at annual credit report without a credit card and without signing up for any kind of subscription service. Your credit reports will be available for download the same day you order them.
Once you get your credit report, you should review it thoroughly to make sure all the information included is accurate.
Make sure all the accounts that are being reported actually belong to you. Transposed social security numbers and other identity mix-ups can put someone else’s account on your credit report. You can have those removed. If you believe you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you should take extra steps to correct the situation. Make sure each account’s payment history is accurately reported. Payment history has the biggest impact on your credit score. Inaccurately reported late payments will undeservedly cost credit score points.
Make sure the current balances and credit limits are correct. Your level of debt is the other big player in your credit score. As your balances get closer to your credit limit, your credit score starts to drop. Inaccurately reported credit card balances and limits could have the same effect.
You can have errors removed from your credit report by writing to the credit bureaus and providing proof of the errors.