Your credit history can create opportunities for you or it can hamper your options in life. A good credit history will provide you with low interest loans, help you land that perfect job and make sure you pay lower insurance rates. A poor credit history will ensure that you have a harder time getting approved for loans and credit cards, enable your insurance company to charge you higher premiums and could cost you that coveted job.
Paying your bills on time and regularly checking your credit history can help you maintain a good credit rating. Many people subscribe to services that provide them with regular updates for their credit reports. These services not only provide alerts when new accounts are opened or when large charges are made to existing accounts, but these services also assist the subscriber with regular access to their credit reports. Simply being aware of the information that the credit reporting agencies record for you can keep you mindful of how you are using your credit.
Instant Access to Your Credit Report
In years past, obtaining your credit report from each credit bureau took time. You either ordered your report over the phone or by mail. To get reports from each of the three bureaus, you had to contact each company and request your
report. Oh, how times have changed with the Internet!
Now, you can get your credit report from all three agencies instantly using the online applications provided by the credit reporting agencies. You can visit each credit bureau, pay a fee and obtain instant online access to your report. However, there is an easier way. AnnualCreditReport.com provides each consumer with one free annual credit report from each of the three bureaus. By law, each credit reporting agency must make a free report available to consumers. All three companies created the AnnualCreditReport.com site as a joint effort to provide consumers with their free reports.
When you visit AnnualCreditReport.com, you complete a request form with your name, address, social security number and other pertinent information. You are presented with a series of questions that will help the site verify your identity. Once your identity is verified, you have instant online access to each of your three credit reports.
Credit Bureaus and Credit Monitoring
Each credit bureau offers subscription credit monitoring services to consumers. Though these services charge a subscription fee, most plans offer instant access to your credit report during a free trial period. Each credit agency offers several plan levels. Some subscription plans provide the credit score only, while others offer full credit history reports. When you subscribe to one of the credit bureau monitoring services, you will have the option to instantly access your credit report from that company through their online service.
Explore the subscription plans and associated trial periods by visiting each of the three credit agencies’ websites at:
– TransUnion: www.transunion.com
– Experian – www.experian.com
– Equifax – www..equifax.com
Be sure to read the subscription plan carefully so you fully understand the reports that are included in the plan. For most plans, only the credit report from the sponsoring agency is provided. However, some plans offer online access to all three credit reports with their subscriptions.