Quarterly Reminder: Check Your Annual Credit Report

by Kevin on September 2, 2008

It’s that time again. It’s been four months since you last checked it. Pick a different credit bureau and check again.

I’ll remind you again in four months!

I can’t tell you enough — this is extremely important. Things can pop up on your credit report that will ruin your credit score if you are unaware. I know someone that recently had this happen. An old debt that he didn’t even know he had had dropped his score at a really inopportune time. He’s now scrambling to fix the issue and get his score back up there.

There is no cost to this, folks. Use AnnualCreditReport. Check once every four months, each with a different credit bureau. It won’t give you the credit score, but you’ll definitely notice if a debt you had no idea about shows up on the report (whether current or deliquent).

{ 6 comments }

Russell September 2, 2008 at 9:23 am

I laugh at the TV spots for that “other site” that heavily advertises the free credit report. Their ad claims something like 20 million people have visited their site, is that even believable? http://www.annualcreditreport.com is the legally free one and over 10% of the population has picked the other one?

I still don’t understand how not knowing his credit report caused the guy to end up working in the Captain Ahab’s seafood restaurant. If you’re 20 years old, have no education, and have no skills, I don’t think the credit report was the deciding factor with the job you landed.

Russell September 2, 2008 at 9:28 am

Another thing to watch for is offers from financial institutions and credit card companies, some legitimately offer free credit record reports. One of my American Express cards offered me a 30-day free access to credit score and report. I can use this 30-day access once per year while I’m an account holder.

I worked for IBM about 12 years ago, and received a letter earlier this year that some company records (data tapes) were lost in shipment. They investigated and believe they were simply lost, but all former employees whose records were on the tapes now have IBM-provided membership in a credit monitoring service. The letter included membership cards and all we had to do was login and sign up.

philip September 2, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Um… how exactly is this going to be quarterly? Isn’t there only going to be 3 checks in a year?

I will make sure to pull my next one tonight.

Janice September 2, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Thanks for the reminder!

Kevin September 3, 2008 at 10:08 pm

@Philip: Yea, I hadn’t even noticed that. I actually just replied back to Janice via e-mail and said the same thing myself (hadn’t gotten to your comment yet).

So I’ll need to change what I call it. If it isn’t quarterly (every 3 months), what do you call every four months?

@Russell: Yea, it it hard to believe. Then again, if you talk about generalities, most Americans are couch potatoes who only get their information from TV. And I’d rather do it the free way than have my information stolen so I could get free coverage from an old employer!

Russell September 4, 2008 at 7:38 am

triannual (it can mean either three times a year or every three years)

not triennial (means only once every three years)

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