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  • Online Access in minutes
  • Checking your own credit will NOT lower your score
  • Help spot the early signs of Credit Fraud & Identity Theft
  • Click to Get Your Free Credit Score & Credit Report for $1
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Why Check Your Credit Report?

Whether you're planning to buy a home, get a new credit card or even get car insurance, there's one obstacle you need to clear: your credit report.

Your credit report contains your complete credit history, as reported by lenders to the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The information in your report is also used to generate your credit score. Your report details the type of credit you use, how long your accounts have been open, whether or not you pay on time and more. It also tells lenders how much credit you're using and whether you've applied for new credit.

Records of previous and current accounts will show your payment history going back seven years, plus details like your credit limit, when the account was opened and the type of account.

Creditors will use your credit report to see how you've managed credit in the past and decide if you're a good risk.

It's easy to ignore your credit file and assume everything is correct -- or downplay potential red flags in your mind. The truth is, a single piece of information on your report may cost you your home loan, or get your credit card application rejected.

Who can view my credit report?

To understand the importance of your credit report, it's necessary to understand exactly who can access your report.

The list of organizations who can view your credit report includes:

  • Creditors
  • Government agencies
  • Insurance companies
  • Potential employers
  • Legitimate business contacts

Why should I check my credit report?

Think of your credit report as your financial resume. When you apply for a job, a home loan, a credit card or insurance, your report will be analyzed to determine how you compare to other consumers. Bad marks on your credit file can get you rejected for a job or credit -- or just keep you from getting the most favorable terms on a new loan or financial product.

Frequently reviewing your own credit reports is vital for maintaining good credit and putting your best foot forward. After all, you're going to be judged based on the information it contains, so shouldn't you know what potential lenders and employers will see?

If you've been putting off reviewing your report, here are some major advantages you should keep in mind:

  • Detect signs of identity fraud before serious damage is done
  • Fix errors in your report that may harm your chances to get a loan
  • Track your progress in rebuilding or maintaining your credit
  • Look for red flags to address before getting a loan or new credit
  • Monitor co-signed loans to make sure the primary is paying as agreed
  • Learn how to improve your score by determining what's hurting your score and how to fix it

When should I check my report?

If you've never checked your credit report, you should do so immediately. This isn't the only reason to check your credit file, though. You should review your report regularly to watch for signs of identity theft, and at least once a year to check for errors on your report that may be bringing down your score. Mistakes are actually very common!

You should also get in the habit of checking your credit report before making any major purchase that requires a loan -- such as buying a home or a car -- to check for problems you can fix beforehand. If you give yourself enough time, you can look through your report for issues that are bringing down your credit score. This includes a high debt-to-credit ratio (or the amount of your available credit you're using), which can be fixed by paying down the debt before you apply for the loan to get the best rates.

Check Your Credit Today!

Many aspects of your daily life involve the information on your report, and you could be wasting money on higher interest rates and getting turned down for loans needlessly. How does your financial resume look? If you don't know, it's time to check your credit file to make sure it accurately reflects your financial situation -- and take steps to improve it further.