From now until April 2021, you can get free weekly credit reports from the three top credit reporting agencies of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The offering was recently made in response to the negative financial impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak, and can be accessed through AnnualCreditReport.com.
While you could previously get one free credit report per year from the three agencies, this new announcement makes it even easier to protect your finances.
The Importance of Credit Reports
A lender will look at your credit report and history before deciding on whether or not to give you a loan, as will a landlord before renting you any property. An employer may even check it before hiring you or giving you a promotion.
Your credit report lets others see your financial health and determine any risk. For this reason, you want your report to be as clean and your score as high as possible to avoid any obstacles in securing credit, housing, or employment.
Why You Should Check Your Credit Report During COVID-19
While many jobs and schools have stopped operating, scammers haven’t. There is still plenty of credit card fraud and identity theft going on, which is why checking your credit is essential.
Experts suggest you should go online and check your financial accounts once a day to look for any suspicious activity. And when it comes to checking credit, they recommend taking advantage of the free weekly credit reports if you’re worried about inaccurate reporting from companies.
Due to job and income loss, many people are struggling to pay their bills. To address this crisis, some companies have allowed for payment arrangements that will not negatively impact credit history. Checking your credit frequently helps you make sure companies are staying true to their word.
When is checking your credit weekly an absolute must? If you’re going through a divorce or have been a victim of fraud. Those two cases are particularly problematic and can be helped by using these free weekly credit reports to your advantage.
How to Use Your Free Weekly Credit Reports
Review all of the information in your credit report to ensure it is accurate.
Are your name and address correct, or have they been slightly changed? If so, you may be a victim of fraud and should report this immediately to avoid future financial damage from identity thieves.
Checking your information for accuracy is essential, but so is your list of accounts. If you see any accounts that you don’t remember opening, that’s another red flag of identity theft and fraud.
Although detecting fraud and protecting your identity are significant reasons for checking your credit frequently, you should also do so to ensure companies haven’t made any errors in reporting.
If you see any errors in your payment history, you should contact the company in question to get them fixed so they cannot decrease your score. This pertains to history before and after COVID-19 appeared.