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Reasons to Review your Credit Reports

It is important for you to check your credit reports regularly. That means you should be ordering credit reports and scores at least every six months. More frequently if you are actively working on repairing your credit or if you have been a victim of ID theft. To be more specific on why you should regularly monitor your credit reports:

Reason 1:

To see how you are progressing. If you are actively working to improve your credit, you want to be sure the measures you are taking are effective. When you become an Authorized User, you want to be sure the positive history is getting reported. The only way to know that is to check your credit report and score. It could take up to 60 days for the history to appear, so you may want to wait until the 60 day mark before ordering a copy of your report and score. If you are taking other measures to improve your score, you will also want to check on that progress. Those other measures, like responsible credit account management, generally take longer than 60 days to appear. It is wise to check your credit report and score at least twice a year to evaluate your progress.

Reason 2:

To make sure all personal information and listings on your report are accurate. The credit bureaus and those who report to the bureaus are far from perfect. In fact, millions of reporting errors are made on a daily basis. Become familiar with the components of a credit report and know how to read one. Know, in detail, what accounts you have open and their status. Any discrepancies, even a misspelling of your name, could lower your score. Be sure to dispute any errors to the bureaus as quickly as possible.

Reason 3:

To check for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. Identity theft is rampant. It's no longer a question of "if", but "when" you will be victimized. Often the only way of knowing if you have been victimized is to check your credit report. If an account is listed that you did not open, chances are someone has stolen your identity.

Thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you're entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. To request a free copy of your credit report, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Keep in mind, however; that these free reports do not include your credit scores. If you want those, you will need to order them separately. However, the free report is a good way to make sure everything is being reported properly, so take advantage of this annual offer.