What should you be looking for when going over your credit reports? As you probably already know, a credit bureau report contains your most personal information, including your identity, financial account details, employment information, physical address, credit cards and loans, payments, late payments, inquiries, etc. Since there are three credit bureaus, and not all contain the same information, it’s best to watch all three at least a few times a year.
One report might have outdated information such as an old address or phone number. Also, not all credit card companies and lenders report to the same bureaus. For this reason, it is possible (and most likely) that the three credit scores are not going to be the same. There could even be a large gap between the numbers.
What errors should you look for when reviewing each credit bureau report? Of course, the most glaring errors will stand out right away, such as your name, phone number, DOB, or address being incorrect, outdated, or incomplete. In addition, your employment details might be inaccurate or obsolete, so you’ll want to make sure that particular bureau is informed of that mistake, either by contacting them yourself or having a credit repair organization handle everything on your behalf.
You’ll especially want to look for signs of possible identity theft or fraud. Check the latest inquiries to make sure everything is accurate. For example, if you tried to apply for a loan or credit card that you don’t recognize, you’d first need to identify that lender. Suppose you are sure that you never applied for anything from that bank or financial organization. In that case, it is possible that someone else applied in your name without your permission.
Credit Bureau Report Enables Looking for Fraud
Fraud is something that must be reported and stopped as fast as possible. Suppose you only check your credit bureau report once a year. In that case, you’re allowing thieves to get away with stealing your information, applying for things in your name, and ruining your credit, or at least causing so much damage that it can take a while to undo.
At the very least, check your credit reports 3+ times a year. Also, it’s an excellent idea to sign up for “credit monitoring” and other similar services s that you can be notified and receive an alert if something suspicious is occurring with your account(s).
Experian IdentityWorks is the best service that offers all of the tools you need to help you stay on top of everything mentioned above. You’ll be able to check your Experian credit bureau report, as well as your TransUnion and Equifax reports as well. There are a couple of different plans to choose from, and you can try them for free.