You might only think about checking your credit report before you apply for credit. Many people are in this situation. They check their reports before they apply for a mortgage or a car loan. This, though, can be a real problem. To get the most benefit from your credit report, you really should be checking it on a regular basis. This means at least once a year, although checking your report once a quarter is an even better option. Here are three reasons that you want to stay on top of your credit report.
First, credit reporting bureaus are not known for their accuracy. Over 70% of credit reports have serious errors on them that can affect a person’s ability to get credit. These errors can take lots of time and effort to fix. This means that if you simply check your report a week before you apply for a mortgage, you might not have time to fix the errors. You could have perfectly good credit but for an error, and the time it takes to fix that error could really put off your home buying prospects for a while.
Second, your credit report is a good way to make sure that you aren’t a victim of identity theft. Those who check their reports on a regular basis are much less likely to become victims of identity theft than those who only check theirs when they need to. As soon as someone even applies for credit in your name, that will be reported to the credit bureaus. This is your first line of defense against having your identity stolen. This can be an expensive problem to deal with, so it’s much better to check your report regularly so that you know your identity isn’t being used improperly.
Finally, your credit report is a good way to keep on top of your score for free. When you order a free credit report, you won’t get your actual credit score. If you know, though, what goes into your score, you can have a good idea of where it will fall by looking at your report. This means that before you apply for a loan or something like that, you can easily spend some time upping your credit score. All you need to do is see what is against you on your credit report and to work to fix those problems.