How Often Should I Be Looking At My Credit Report?
The first step to building up your credit score is to know as much information you can about your credit history and behavior. Checking your credit report is the first step to truly understanding where you have to improve.
What Is A Credit Report?
A credit report is a comprehensive report of all of your credit activity including payment activity, available balances and lenders who have issued you credit. The report also includes the negative aspects too including bankruptcies, delinquencies and lawsuits. Information on the report can be as old as 10 years and is updated on a monthly basis by the lenders you have open accounts with at all three credit bureaus.
What Is The Difference Between A Credit Report and a Credit Score?
A credit score is a numerical value that sums up your credit report in the generalist of terms. A score is made up of payment history, open and closed accounts, available credit and more. The report is the more detailed account of your present and former credit activity. If you are trying to improve your credit you would need to look at your script score to see the breakdown on what is affecting your score in a negative way.
How Often Should I Look At It?
The more aware you are the better. Looking at your credit report on a regular basis is a great way to stay knowledgable on your credit and gives you a chance to catch errors and frauds quickly.
You should at least be looking at your report annually. The US government offers a free copy of your credit score every year and it only takes a visit to annualcreditreport.com to claim it.
If you are trying to take a more active approach to improving your credit you should be looking at it every month (or every two to three months).
Why Should I Look At My Credit Report?
Looking at your report on a frequent basis will allow you to be proactive in protecting your longstanding credit from fraudulent activity and unauthorized inquiries. You can catch potential identity theft before it becomes a huge problem as well as catch any reporting errors that might go unnoticed if you are only checking it once every year.
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