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Annual Credit Report

Thursday, January 5th, 2006 · 1 Comment

annual_credit_report.png Have you ever seen your credit report? How recently? If you’re not familiar with your credit report or what’s on it, there’s no time like the present to request one for free. Thanks to relatively new federal legislation as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission, we’re all eligible to request and review free copies of our credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) once per year.

Rather than paying for a credit monitoring service or requesting all three reports at once, here’s what I think is a great strategy to proactively monitor your credit throughout the year: Request one from each bureau every four months. Here’s the schedule I’ve established for me and Jen as of today:

  • January 5: Experian
  • May 5: Equifax
  • September 5: TransUnion

Repeat every year (access all three via I’ve made this process easy by setting up recurring annual reminders in my Yahoo Calendar, so I’ll get an email every four months reminding me to do this.

Requesting the report is the easy part, so do yourself a favor and go for it. It takes a whole 2 minutes. And then review what’s on the report… it might surprise you… or anger you if you find that someone else has pretended to be you. This happened to me a few years ago, and it’s no fun.

I don’t agree with everything Suze Orman says, but she has mostly good advice. The one bureau per quarter strategy is courtesy of her.

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Tags: money

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jordan // Jan 5, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    I enjoy that ever six months someone called the “DoD” runs a credit check against me. They’ve probably done a few illegal wiretaps.

    And a quick pitch that Yodlee OnCenter is pretty cool with theft of credit card numbers by putting in alerts like, “Send me an email if there is a charge of more than $xxx to any of my credit cards.”