A couple weeks ago, probably after giving a workshop and talk about credit, I realized I hadn’t pulled my credit report in a while. I was embarrassed. Here I am talking to all these people, preaching to them to check their credit report annually, when I haven’t in a couple years!
I went to annualcreditreport.com and pulled my report. It’s a pretty painless process, you just need to remember stuff about yourself, such as the street you grew up on and what type of loans you might have. Then you’re good to go.
Because you’re allowed to pull your credit report for free from each of the bureaus annually, I only pulled my report from one of them—Experian. Then in four months, I’ll pull from Equifax, and then four months from then, I’ll pull the report from TransUnion.
I read through the report; it ended up being about 12 pages, and I looked for errors or wrong information. I checked to make sure all my accounts were up to date and that there weren’t any issues. This is a great way to check for identity theft or fraud. If you see something that you don’t remember opening, contact that company right away.
I was also interested to see who had been looking at my credit. When companies want to offer you credit, (for example, a credit card), they will look at your credit to determine if you can prequalify. This is only a soft hit against your report, but it will show up in a different section than those you permitted (you can always opt out from these offers by going to optoutprescreen.com).
Luckily, my credit report looked good. I didn’t find any errors and I could account for all the open lines of credit and loans in my name. But I need to remember to check my report on a regular basis. It’s a simple step in making sure that your credit life is in order. Plus, if I’m going to teach it, I better act on it too.
Have you pulled your credit report recently?