No matter what your financial situation, your credit rating plays an important role in your life. Every time you apply for a mortgage or a loan, that potential creditor pulls a copy of your credit report and checks your credit rating. Employers, potential landlords and even car insurance companies might also review your credit report. Take the time to check your credit report to dispute any inaccuracies you find.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you are turned down for a credit card or loan under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. You must request the credit report within 60 days of the denial. Follow the instructions included with your credit denial to get a free copy of the report from the agency involved in the denial.
Log on to the AnnualCreditReport.com website to access a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. By law, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit reports from each of the three agencies. If you want to get a heads up on possible fraud and identity theft, you can stagger your requests and get one every four months--one from each of the three credit reporting agencies.
Choose the credit reporting agency whose credit rating you want to view. The website provides a link to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Clicking a link opens a new window linking directly to that credit reporting agency.
Answer the questions posed by the site. The credit reporting agency poses a number of questions designed to confirm your identity and prevent fraudulent use of the service.
Review your credit rating and credit report. For a small additional charge you can also get access to your numerical FICO score from each agency.