In September I recommended that you do something 3 times a year, and I said that I’d remind you in January. Well, it’s January and I’m reminding you. Do you remember what it was? Here’s a hint: you should apply for something that you get for nothing. That’s right, you remember: I suggested that you check your credit report.
Everyone is entitled to a free credit report once a year from each of the 3 major credit reporting companies, and I’ve suggested that you check one every 4 months. January, May and September were the months I recommended because they fall at times of the year that usually don’t involve vacations or major family events.
Why would you want to check your credit report? Here’s what the Federal Trade Commission says:
“Your credit report has information that affects whether you can get a loan – and how much you will have to pay to borrow money. You want a copy of your report to:
Make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
Help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information – like your name, Social Security number or credit card number – to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to get a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance or even a job.”
You probably know that there are 3 major credit agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You ask for your free report from each of them by using one official government website, https://www.annualcreditreport.com. You can get all of the information about it (as well as a toll free number and a mailing address if you’d prefer) at the Federal Trade Commission website, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm (there’s only ONE official web site you use to get your free reports; be sure to read the FTC warning about “Imposter” websites).
Whether you apply online or by using either of the other two methods, you’ll need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth.
Hope you found this information useful. I’ll remind you again in May.
Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)