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When should you check your credit report?

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When you are preparing to make a major purchase such as a home or auto loan you should check your credit report. Your credit score is one of the most important factors lenders use in determining whether or not you get a loan. Credit scores also determine what interest rate you will get. The higher the credit score the better off you will be.

Nonetheless, if you are planning a major purchase, you should check your credit report and credit scores several months before. Make sure the information revealed in your credit report is accurate. Errors in credit reports can be common and most are simply the result of human mistakes. Data entry clerks processing thousands of payments will sooner or later make an error. Inaccuracies can have an adverse affect on your credit score. These days a score of 620 or better will usually qualify you for credit. Anything less and you may have trouble getting approved.

You should also check your credit if you think your personal identity has been compromised. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. This occurs when someone grabs a hold of key information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit cards information and even driver's license numbers for their own personal gain. It can happen with a lost wallet or stolen purse, pilfered mail, computer virus, dumpster diving, phishing or various other scams. Protect yourself and your identity by shredding key financial documents and keeping your social security number, driver's license number, bank account numbers and credit cards under lock and key.

If you have recently been denied credit you should check your credit report. There's a good chance you were denied because your credit score wasn't high enough. Carefully study your credit report line by line and check for mistakes. Identify derogatory items and rectify them as soon as you are able.

The government mandated that you are entitled to a copy of your credit report once a year. If you have ever received your report from this portal you will find that it did not come with your credit scores. The credit scores are the single most important part of any credit report.

For a fee you can get your credit scores directly from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

Be mindful of your creditworthiness and take control of your financial future.
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