Too often, we think about checking our credit reports in a hustle to make sure we are ready for a big purchase like energy efficient real estate and we order all three at once. While this does give you a snapshot of your standing from each agency, it only gives you information from one point in time. If you want a more holistic view of your credit over time without impacting your FICO score, you can space out your requests. The Equifax Finance Blog explores this tip and more in the recent article,
Asking for one of your three free yearly reports once every four months means that you have multiple chances per year to see how your credit is shaping up without damaging your score or paying for a monitoring service. While this does have the disadvantage of only letting you see one agency’s report at a time, if you set these at regular intervals you will get a better idea of where your
credit trends. This makes you better prepared for big purchases or major financial decisions, like applying for a lease or loan.
Of course, if this isn’t enough or if you are afraid of being the target of identity theft, you can always consult a credit monitoring service. These services watch your reports for inaccuracies or unusual trends, and can catch identity theft early so less damage is done. There are many options/offerings with credit monitoring services, so be sure to comparison shop to find the one that best meets your needs.
For other great tips about personal finance advice and how to improve your
FICO score, consult the Equifax Finance Blog.