Recently there was a big news story concerning a lady who won an 18 million dollar settlement from Equifax, one of the nation’s big three credit reporting services. She had numerous errors listed on her credit report simply because Equifax had her report mixed up with another person with the same name. And, this is not an isolated incident. A recent survey found that between two to four million consumers have errors on their reports so severe they are unable to get credit when needed.
This is why it’s so important to check your credit report on a regular basis. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are required by federal law to give you a free (or just a $1) copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. Instead of receiving all three reports at the same time, try staggering them throughout the year, giving you the ability to check on a more frequent basis. The sooner you find errors and inconsistencies, the sooner you can start the process to get these mistakes off your record.
To request your free reports just click on the highlighted credit reporting agency links above. But remember, once a year your report is free. If errors are listed on your credit report what’s the next step? Each credit reporting company has listed on their website information on what to do if an error is discovered. You can also write a “letter of dispute” and have it included with your report for potential lenders to consider the next time you apply for credit.