Free Credit Report
You should regularly request copies of your credit report from all of the reporting agencies to check for errors.
Errors in the reports can affect:
If you're Canadian, you can get a free copy of your credit report (aka "consumer disclosure") at any time by calling the two credit reporting agencies in Canada and using their automated voice response lines:
You key in the data they want (or say it) and they mail you the report with a couple of weeks. Don't pay for a copy with your "credit score" (sometimes called FICO score in the USA). You don't need the score; you can infer it from the report contents.
DO check the reports for errors and have them corrected ASAP.
In the USA, things are a bit more complicated. While the government enacted legislation that entitles US citizens to a "free, annual credit report", the reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) have been a bit slimy about how they go about providing these.
Read this: AnnualCreditReport.com Scam or Legit? See My Review For 2013
From the above site:
Should you still check your report every year? Yes, definitely. And make sure the credit reporting agencies have your basic facts (name, address, etc) correct, because it's not just creditors that are checking these things now, it's potential jobs and landlords too.
I used FCR for a year and then ditched it. Seriously? $30 a month to know that I have good credit? Just always pay your credit card/ car payment/ etc... on time and you'll have great credit. It's easy!
I'll have to try that website mentioned above. If it's actually free.
My point about not paying to see your score is you can infer your score by your report content.
If you've any kind of delinquency, you can assume your score will be in the toilet.
If you have a long, perfect credit history and low utilization, you can assume your score will be pretty good.
No need to pay to find that out.
There's a free one-month trial available to Canadians with Equifax. They'll give you access to your full report online + score but you have to cancel within the first month or you get billed.
Doing that will give you a baseline score to work with. From there, just keep getting the free reports and watch for good and bad stuff on the report which would increase or decrease the score. (I assume people doing all that are probably responsible with credit and not doing things to negatively impact their credit)
Good post, I just checked mine a few days ago through the annualcreditreport.com site. It is indeed free, but as mentioned before, doesn't actually give you a score, just your credit record so that you can dispute any inaccuracies. I've never paid for my credit score, in the U.S., banks are obligated to give it to you when they check you for a loan, and when I applied for a credit card, they sent me a statement with my credit score on it.
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