Monitor your Credit Report annually, at a minimum.
Under a federal law enacted by Congress, every consumer in the United States can now obtain one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. Previously, consumers who wanted to obtain their credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) had to pay for each report. Only those consumers whose loan applications were rejected or who were victims of identity theft could obtain their credit reports for free.
You can obtain your free credit reports by mail, by phone or online from a service that is run jointly by the three credit bureaus. If you order your credit report online, you must print it or save it to your computer, or it will be unavailable once you leave the screen. The free program applies only to the credit report itself. Credit scores are not included in the free credit report but they can be purchased from the credit bureaus for a fee.
Experts strongly recommend that consumers obtain their free credit reports each year. Review them for completeness and accuracy in order to learn about their credit, check for errors in their credit information, and detect identity theft. If something is wrong on a credit report, you can dispute it directly with the credit bureau. When a dispute is filed, the credit bureau has 45 days to respond to the consumer.
Learn more about Credit Scores. An important part of your financial well-being is your credit score. Learn more in our Resources section.