Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's time for your annual checkup!

Just like you go to the doctor each year for a complete physical (you do go, don’t you??), you need to get a pulse on your financial well-being to make sure nothing’s amuck.

Each year, you’re entitled to a completely FREE credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union). And there’s no better time than the new year to check that everything on your credit report is in good order. All you need to do to receive your free credit report is visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the ‘real thing’ - There are other sites out there (like www.freecreditreport.com) that are designed to sell you report packages and credit monitoring, and will try to rope you in to paying for something, so make sure you visit the right site, i.e. www.annualcreditreport.com.

When you get your report, carefully check through the list of accounts and make sure you recognize each of them. This can be a tricky process as many of the account listings can look unfamiliar – for example, an instant financing loan that you might have received a card for but never used. The best way is to grab all of your various credit cards, private-label store cards, and loan docs so you can match up your account numbers. If you find an account or other activity like an inquiry that appears suspicious, you can contact the credit bureau that reported the suspicious activity. Links to each of the bureau websites are below:

www.experian.com
www.transunion.com
www.equifax.com

So waste no time and grab your free annual credit report today. It’s usually much more pleasant and less-invasive than visiting your general practitioner!

Cheers,
CardTuna

1 comment:

gridmaster said...

Great advice, Tuna. I just went through www.annualcreditreport.com and my credit checked out just fine. Don't be frightened about entering your social security number--the site really is run by the big three and it's absolutely secure.

Just remember to save those pages. In some cases, once you close the window, the report is gone for good. I saved them to my desktop so I can review them in detail later.

Oh yeah, and if you do print them out. Shred them when you're done with them. There's too much good stuff in there for an identity thief to have just laying around in your trash.