By: Dawn Shreffler
HomeStar Bank & Financial Services
Phone: (815) 937-3888
At a minimum you should check your credit report at least once every 12 months. There are a lot of reasons to get it, and here are five:
1. It’s Free
Never pass up a freebie, especially when it can affect your financial health and well-being. Your credit report plays an important part in your credit transactions and many other financial relationships. The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to, “Order online from annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports, or call 1-877-322-8228. You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth to verify your identity.”
2. It is an Important Step in Rebuilding and Maintaining Good Credit
Reviewing your credit report periodically will help you make sure it is in good shape when you are ready to apply for new credit, and enable you to monitor your progress if you are recovering from past credit problems.
3. It is an Important Part of Managing Your Personal Finances
You should review your credit report just like you do your bank statements and credit card bills. Managing credit, keeping track of spending and putting aside savings are all essential to being financially successful.
4. It is Often the First Indicator That You are an Identity Theft Victim
If you find names you don’t recognize, Social Security numbers that don’t belong to you, or accounts that aren’t yours, you may be a victim of fraud. National credit reporting companies can help you stop the credit fraud and prevent future misuse of your identity.
5. It is the First Step in Correcting Any Information You Feel is Inaccurate
The vast majority of the time people find everything is accurate. If you do find something wrong, your personal credit report comes with instructions for submitting disputes and contact information including a toll-free telephone number, Internet address and mailing address.
I hope you found these tips helpful. For answers to your credit or lending questions contact us today! Visit www.HomeStarBank.com, call (815) 468- BANK (2265) or stop by one of our five branches and a Loan Officer will help you.