Checking Your Credit Report

You should order your credit report at least once a year to make sure the information listed on it is correct. If you suspect you've been a victim of identity theft, you should monitor your credit report more frequently.

You might order your credit report more frequently than that if you're actively trying to repair your credit or if you expect to apply for a major loan soon. You can order your credit report in a few ways: for free through a website the government set up for that purpose, for free via a promotional offer, or by purchasing from one of the three credit bureaus.

Credit Report 

If you've ever had a credit card, loan, or debt collection, then you likely have a credit report. Credit reports are requested for several reasons, from applying for a job to getting a loan. Commercials and financial news media frequently talk about credit scores and the status of American debt. The credit report is one of the most important documents of your adult financial life.

What a Credit Report Is

Your credit report is a compilation of information about the way you handle your credit and pay your debt. It includes:

  • Information about how much debt you've accumulated

  • How you pay your bills—on time, partial payment and other information

  • Where you live

  • Where you work

  • Whether you've filed bankruptcy

  • If you have a lawsuit judgment entered against you

  • Whether you've had a home foreclosed or vehicle repossessed

If it sounds like your credit report contains a lot of information, that's because it does. For some individuals, an annual credit report can be over 100 pages long.