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Check Credit Report: You're Safety Precaution Against Identity Theft Fraud

Screening your credit report on a regular basis is an essential part of preventing and detecting identity theft and fraud. It's considered the first and best defense to catch any type of suspicious activity. Examine your credit file at least once every 12 months.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act guarantees you access to a free credit report once every twelve months at AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three main credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. However, these free credit reports don't include your credit score information. Given that you have three different credit reports, you also have three different FICO scores.

Carefully check for errors and make sure your personal information is correct, such as current and previous addresses, your social security number, date of birth, phone numbers, previous and current employers are correct. Since creditors, employers, insurance companies and landlords are making decisions about you based on the information contained in your credit report, it is a good idea to verify and have accurate information. Furthermore, regular check- up for the accuracy of your credit report can detect early signs of identity fraud.

Check credit report for any recent and past inquiries; make sure all inquiries are authorized by you, because inquiries are supposed to remain on a consumer's credit report for up to two years. Too many inquiries will get points deducted and lower your FICO scores. Inquiries not authorized you can have them remove on your report.

Although many lenders are primarily interested in the number of inquiries made in the last six months. Applying for too many credit cards or store accounts in a short period of time can make a consumer look desperate in the eyes of lenders, especially if many of those requests have been turned down. Inquiries related to pre-approved offers, as well as your own inquiries, are not available to credit grantors. But they are included in credit reports that you order for yourself. Having several inquiries are frequently interpreted as a negative by creditors. The result effect will cause difficulty of obtaining credit approval. Disputing errors and repairing your credit can often prove to be a stressful and difficult task. A credit report specialist can help you, if you feel you don't have time to perform these tasks.

When filing for disputed accounts that cannot be verified must be deleted from your credit file. Any adverse or derogatory credit information in your credit report will remain on your credit file for up to seven years. Public records, depending on the type, will remain on your credit report anywhere from seven to 10 years such as, bankruptcy, judgment and liens. Adverse accounts should fall off your credit file after 7 years, but you need to be sure that they do by checking your credit reports often and reporting over held accounts.

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