How and why to check your credit report online for free

It's almost 2017, this is the perfect time to check your credit score.

How and why to check your credit report online for free

It’s almost 2017, have you checked your credit report lately? Fraud and identity theft is a constant problem according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It is important to check your credit report to ensure that you do not have any fraudulent activity on your report. There are several companies that you can use to check your credit report; however, annualcreditreport.com is authorized by the FTC. You can obtain one free credit report every 12 months from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

The FTC shares the following warning signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.
  • You don’t get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.
  • You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.
  • Medical providers bill you for services you didn’t use.
  • The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don’t work for.
  • You get a notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

If you experience any of these warning signs or if you have not recently checked your credit report, you should do so immediately. You can order a copy of your credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Additionally, to maintain your security, you will have to answer some questions that only you would know.

You can sign-up for scam alerts at FTC.gov. Be sure to check out Michigan State University Extension and MIMoneyHealth.org for more great articles. Don’t forget to take our Financial Health Survey to get your score and learn about more ways to improve your financial health. 

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