The world is a different place than it was just a year ago. Many people are working from home and are unsure about what the future holds, both financially and professionally. Unfortunately, as many people face financial uncertainty, there are plenty of others who are willing to prey on these uncertainties, leading to rising identity theft scams.
We want to inform our members of a benefit that is available to you that can help you protect yourself from financial scams related to COVID-19.
The three major credit reporting agencies for U.S. consumers (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are stepping up to offer free weekly credit reports to consumers now through April 2021. Here’s what you need to know:
- This is a credit report – not a credit score. It is far more revealing and useful to consumers for identifying potential identity theft and possible errors.
- Receiving a weekly credit report allows you to assess, in real-time, if anything suspicious appears on your report. This includes new applications for credit, suspicious charges, or collections against you that are unfamiliar.
- You can also use your weekly credit report to identify and correct a wide range of inaccuracies on your credit record. These inaccuracies include incorrect charge reports, inaccurate amounts, and outdated information.
It’s especially important to monitor this information right now. While businesses and financial institutions are working tirelessly to help those in need, mistakes may happen. Relief options, such as skipped payments or loan forbearances, may accidentally be reported as missed payments on your credit report. Actively monitoring your credit report will allow you to identify any errors quickly.
If suspicious activity appears on your credit report, it’s in your interest to report it immediately so that investigations can begin right away – protecting your credit reputation from false information.
How to Get Your Weekly Credit Reports
Traditionally, the three major U.S. credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) provide consumers a copy of their credit report annually at no cost. You can now access your free weekly credit reports through the same website at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
Why is Checking Your Credit Report Important?
Even when we are not facing a global pandemic, it’s a wise plan to check your credit report at least once a year. The more familiar you are with your credit report, the better you understand how the information it contains impacts your credit score.
Doing so can help you make wiser spending and credit choices in the future. That’s just one reason it is so important to keep a “weather-eye” on your credit report. These are a few other reasons it is important to pay close attention to these informational reports.
- It empowers you to manage your credit more closely. The more familiar you are with reviewing and monitoring your credit report, the easier it is to identify and correct false information and to dispute details that may be keeping your credit score down.
- It allows you to detect potential identity theft or credit card fraud quickly. Early detection can be instrumental in minimizing the damage.
- It helps you improve your credit score. This alone can save you thousands upon thousands of dollars in interest payments throughout your lifetime – and it only takes a few minutes to reap the rewards.
With benefits like these on the line, it's well worth investing the time to take advantage of this offer for weekly credit reports.
Watch our video on how to access your weekly credit report.