Reasons To Get Your Annual Free Credit Report

You may think that you have everything under control when it comes to your credit and do not have to take advantage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that entitles you to an annual free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus.  You are wrong.  You never know if someone is using your credit without your knowledge.  Identity thieves are clever.  They route credit cards and other loan information to another address.  In many cases, you never discover that there is a problem with your credit until you are denied a loan.  Or worse.

Some people have been unfortunate enough to discover that they have been the victim of identity theft when they were arrested for check fraud.  After an embarrassing ordeal and money spent on attorney fees as well as an inordinate amount of time, they were finally cleared.  Making sure that only accurate accounts are on your credit reports is one reason to get your annual free credit report from all three of the credit bureaus.

Each of the reporting credit bureaus can receive different information, although most of what they get is concurrent with the other agencies.  Because results can, in some cases, differ, it is essential that you get your annual free credit report from each of the agencies, as it is your right.

Some people are the victims of identity theft, which is when someone uses your name and credit without your knowledge, and never know it until it gets out of hand.  It is not only lenders who look at credit reports.  Employers are looking more and more at credit reports as part of their background checks on employees.  People who are turned down for employment do not have to be told that the reason is due to their credit report. 

If you are turned down for a loan, however, you do have to be notified in writing and the name of the credit reporting bureau on which the bank or lender based their decision must be revealed.  You are then entitled to get a free credit report from that agency.  Most people who are victims of identity theft discover their status by these means.   By this time, things are usually a mess with their credit.

Because identity thieves are so clever, it is important that you stay one step ahead of them and get your annual free credit report from the three agencies, which are TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.  This way you can find out any odd information on your credit report and dispute it before an identity thief can get too far.  Prevention is the best way to combat identity thieves.  If more people would take advantage of their annual free credit report, identity thieves would have less people on which to prey. 

As it stands now, most people do not even realize that they are entitled to an annual free credit report or how to get one.  They do not realize that these reports are viewed by potential employers or that identity thieves can strike without them even realizing it.  Or they think it is too much of a hassle to get an annual free credit report. 

You can easily obtain an annual free credit report from all three of the agencies by going to one of the many websites online that offer this service.  Or you can write or contact the three agencies directly.  Taking control of your credit is important for not only your financial future, but employment future as well. 

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