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Don’t Let your Free Credit Reports Go Unnoticed

By Janet Lacey
Published: Sunday, November 21st, 2010

This article discusses the importance of monitoring your credit reports.

As a consumer, it is an important step to review your credit rating carefully. Credit reports are documents that show your financial status – how your debts are faring, what new accounts you have opened, your current accounts and the services that you have availed for. It may also include your personal information and most specially, your criminal records. If there should be any errors in these reports, you will be able to see them immediately if you practice checking them often.

Credit reports are provided for free every year by the three main credit bureaus TransUnion, Equifax and Experian so there is no reason for you not to view them. The government is the responsible body in making the availability of these free credit reports possible. This is to ensure consumer welfare and safety from possible crimes and errors.

Credit reports are important for a lot of aspects. For one, it is reviewed by financial institutions before they grant loans or credit to their applicants. Some employers also review credit reports of job applicants. Others like landlords, utility and cell phone companies also have access to your reports. You are often judged by what is written on your credit rating so it is imperative for you to keep a clean record; however, there are instances that are out of your control that tend to ruin your credit rating and reputation.

One instance is a mistaken entry by the credit bureau that made your report. If you review your reports constantly, then you will be able to dispute these errors at the earliest possible time with the credit bureau. Another instance is when you are attacked by an identity thief.

Identity theft is a serious crime that can be compared to a silent killer since it drains the finances, if not the available credit of an unaware victim. All the thief needs is a few personal information and then he will be able to carry out his scheme. More often, identity thieves steal a person’s credit card and use it for their purposes. This leaves a maxed out credit limit for the victim.

Identity theft attacks will also be detected and stopped early if you monitor your credit reports regularly. Not only that, identity theft activities will leave erroneous information in your reports so, if this happens to you, you will have to apply for corrections. Correcting errors usually takes time so the earlier you spot errors, the better. Contact the credit bureau about the errors and follow it up in writing with photocopies of documents that can back up your claim. 

The only problem is that most errors due to identity theft stay in your credit reports for years after applying for corrections. The best way to avoid this is to prevent identity theft from happening to you. Be always on your guard for people who might take interest in your personal information and be careful with the information that you give out online or around strangers. Lastly, always remember to check your credit rating.

AUTHOR INFO BOX: Get your free annual credit reports at Free-Credit-Reports.com to make sure that your credit score is precise. Get free advice from this site to increase your credit scores.

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