Are you in the dark about your credit report? Unless you’ve been thinking about buying some large ticket items lately like a house or a car or something that relied on a payment plan for purchasing, you may not be able to put a number on your current credit rating. And while it is a good thing that you haven’t been out racking up a tab and making extensive purchases, it’s also an excellent idea to check your credit report intermittently. This is helpful if you do have plans to buy something like a home or vehicle in the future, and more importantly, will allow you to see if everything is correct, while giving you time to address errors before asking for a loan, if that is going to be necessary.
You should be able to make a soft inquiry without any penalty to your rating as a free credit report from each of the three big companies is allowed once a year by law. And while this might seem like a frightening task to some as you are worried about what you might uncover, it’s better than having surprises later. Any errors that you can correct will also help to improve your rating, and keep in mind that if you do decide to dispute information on your credit report, that could take a couple of months or even longer.
The easiest way to check your report is through AnnualCreditReport. The three companies you want to check your credit report from are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and they actually sponsor AnnualCreditReport. Running the credit report this once allows you a comprehensive look at all three credit ratings, and you may find they vary a little—or a lot, depending on errors, different data, and various ways and models used for calculating the actual number you see reflected as your credit score.
As you check and make note of the actual number, what is even more important is fact-checking the information these bureaus have about you and making sure that you have a rating reflecting your true status. While you may have been operating from the “I just don’t really want to know” state of mind, you’ll probably find that checking your credit score is much less painless than you expected. You may find that it is accurate—and perhaps even better than you expected, as is sometimes the case—and if you need to get some information and facts cleared up and changed, you’ll feel even better having done so.
Are you concerned about credit card debt, possible creditor lawsuits, or exploring bankruptcy to set your finances straight once and for all? If you are finding it difficult to pay your bills and need an experienced debtor rights attorney, contact us at Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC. We can review your current situation and discuss your options with you, whether that means bankruptcy, a negotiated settlement or lawsuit. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in all types of consumer rights matters, including bankruptcy, and we are here to help you!