Staying on top of your credit report is an important task in a normal, healthy financial life. It takes on even greater importance in trying economic times as identification theft typically rises. The good news here is: you can now access your credit information for free more frequently than ever.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you could access your credit reports from each bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) once per year for free at annualcreditreport.com. The commonly recommended approach was to check a different report every four months in order to keep a reasonably close look at the activity (payments, inquiries, new accounts, etc.) being done in your name.
However, you can now access a report from each bureau for free every week from now until April 2021 at annualcreditreport.com. If you suspect you may be at risk of ID theft, this is a powerful tool to have at your disposal. You’ll be able to stay on top of all of your existing open accounts as well as any new inquiries made or accounts that are opened without your knowledge.
Want to go for extra credit in this area? Take advantage of freezing your credit at each of the three bureaus. You’ll still be able to use all of your existing accounts just like you currently do, but no new accounts will be able to be opened in your name by anyone other than you. When the occasion arises, you can temporarily lift the freeze as you need to, but only when you need to. A final plus? There’s a reasonable chance that freezing your credit is free (determined on the state you live in).
Protecting yourself and your credit has never been simpler. Take advantage of what these tools offer to help secure this aspect of your financial life. If you would like to discuss your situation with a financial expert, Hey Money can help. Start your subscription here!