Hardship Recovery

5 Times When You Should Check Your Credit Report

With free annual credit reports, there’s no reason not to check your score at least once every 12 months. When else should you check it? Keep reading to find out.


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The Importance of Getting Your Free Credit Report Every Year

You probably visit your doctor or dentist yearly to see where you stand in terms of health. This helps you figure out what you need to improve to avoid any issues down the line. And while health is crucial to your well-being, credit could be considered the same.

Just like those annual check-ups, you want to make sure your credit is in good standing. That’s why getting your free yearly credit report is a must so you can take any necessary measures to improve your score.

Why is a high credit score so important? Because it makes it easier to secure loans and credit so you can buy things you need now. And good credit can also help you find housing, whether you’re looking to rent or buy.

While getting your free annual credit report every 12 months is crucial so you can see how creditors view you as a borrower, here are four other times to check your score too.

Other Times When You Should Check Your Credit Report

1. When you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

Have you been receiving letters or phone calls from collection agencies regarding accounts you know you’ve never opened? If so, someone may have stolen your identity.

While identity theft is common, that doesn’t make it any less scary. And if you suspect you’ve been the victim of it, you should check your credit report immediately.

When checking your report, look for suspicious accounts. Report any that you see to the credit reporting agencies.


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The rise of identity theft is perhaps the most important reason for checking your credit score periodically. By not checking it, you put yourself at risk of being an identity theft victim and not even knowing it until an application for credit is denied.

2. When you’re about to make a significant purchase on credit.

Do you plan on buying a home or car soon? If those purchases will be made with a loan, you should check your credit report six months before applying.

By checking your credit in advance, you get to clean up any mistakes on accounts you’ve already paid. You can also pay off balances that could improve your score, so can you get approved for a loan.

3. When you’re denied for new credit.

If you’re denied a loan for a home, car, or some other large purchase, the law says you get to know why.

Within 10 business days, you should get a letter from the lender offering their reasons for rejection. The letter should also tell you how to get your free credit report so you can spot any issues.

If you find you were rejected due to mistakes on your credit report, dispute the errors with the companies in question and reporting bureaus. Once your report is fixed, you can have it sent to the lender to improve your chances of approval.

4. When you’re looking to fix your credit.

Would you like to make a plan to get out of debt or repair your credit? Making that plan without seeing your credit report can be impossible.

Get your free report first, and you can see which problems need the most attention.

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