Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina urges consumers to regularly review their credit report in order to ensure that their personal information is safe. Identity theft affects an astounding number of people each year and one of the best ways to spot it is by monitoring your credit report.
Information from your credit report can be used to evaluate your application for insurance, employment and renting a home, so it is important to make sure the information on the report is accurate and up-to-date. If errors lie within the report, you may face steep interest rates or be denied.
“It is important to take action and review your credit report on a regular basis,” said Toby Barfield, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. “It can take months to correct errors, which makes it vital to review your credit report ahead of time.”
BBB offers these guidelines for monitoring your credit report:
Get a Free Credit Report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To obtain free credit reports, visit www.annualcreditreport.com. Since consumers can check their credit report with each of these agencies once every 12 months, BBB recommends that consumers space out the reports throughout the year.
Carefully Review Your Credit Report. Review each entry for accuracy. If you locate errors, you may initiate a dispute with the agency either online or by sending a certified letter with documentation. Also, be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Look for credit inquiries from companies that you have never done business with and accounts that you did not open.
“Free Credit Report” Scam. Beware of companies offering “free credit reports,” as these could be scams. The only authorized source for consumers to get a free credit report is www.annualcreditreport.com. Make sure not to give out personal information if the company name is unfamiliar.
For additional information and advice on monitoring your credit report, visit bbb.org.