You Can Now Get 3 Free Weekly Credit Reports
You credit score is an important number. Consumer credit reports are a factual record of credit activity and payment history used by lenders, creditors, service providers and other businesses to extend financial opportunities and other offers to people. With a good score you not only are you more likely to get approved for a loan but you will also get the best available rates on car loans, mortgages, personal loans etc. Nowadays you might even be asked for your score during job applications, or when trying to rent.
But how do you improve or keep a good credit score? You can read some tips here, but one of the easiest things to do is just check your credit report on a regular basis. This way you can easily see how a recent event impacts your score, or catch erroneous negative remarks.
Credit scores are usually provided by the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Normally you are entitled to one free credit report from each bureau per year, so you could get a report every 4 months. But in a joint action, the three national credit reporting agencies have announced they are offering free weekly credit reports to all Americans for the next year to help them protect their financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19. The free reports will be available via AnnualCreditReport.com starting on April 20, 2020.
The companies’ CEOs provided a joint statement on the decision to increase their offerings for the next year. “These are unprecedented times facing the world. People are feeling scared and uncertain about the future. To help play our part and reduce some of that anxiety, we are uniting as an industry to help people know the facts about their financial data. We are making credit reports more accessible more often so people can better manage their finances and take necessary steps to protect their credit standing,” said CEOs Mark W. Begor, CEO Equifax; Brian Cassin, CEO Experian; and Chris Cartwright, CEO TransUnion.
So previously, you were entitled to one free credit report from each bureau per year, for a total of 3 per year. And that has been substantially increased to as many as 156 over the next 12 months. Checking your credit score every few days might be a bit of overkill, but credit vigilance is critical during these uncertain times.
You should review your credit report frequently to understand the information that is being reported. If you think you might not be able to pay a bill, talk with your lender to find out if they are offering any assistance. Insurance companies for example are offering discounts, banks will let you defer payments, T-Mobile might cut your bill in half, if you are a first responder there are plenty of freebies such as this one, and many more ways to cut your expended right now.