Saturday, July 9, 2011
Annual Credit Report
It is important to check your credit report at least on an annual basis. Each year, you are allowed to view your credit report for free at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. Make sure that you take a look at your report regularly to see if anyone has been using your name to get credit. A lot of banks offer credit protection services for a fee where they will monitor your credit report to alert you about identity theft. These services also give you a look at your credit score in case you are curious. A lot of them also include a one month free trial so that you can check it out and not get charged for that first month, but you have to remember to call them before the month ends or else they will bill you for the next month (and you need to give them a credit card when you sign up). I personally don't use one at the moment, but I do check my report on an annual basis. I believe the government recommends checking it semi-annually, or twice a year, although you would have to pay for the second view. Identity theft is said to be a very serious issue. Although I have never been a victim of it and I haven't heard of anyone becoming a victim of it, I would rather stay on the safe side and do the minimum by checking my credit report.