Get Your Credit Report
Credit Reporting Agencies
There are three major credit reporting agencies. These are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. You would think that they all have the same information, but I have found this not to be the case. My experience has been that Equifax has more up to date information. Experian is kind of in the middle and Transunion seems to have less information and the information seems to be older.
You should get all of your reports every year just to make sure all the date is correct. Just make sure that you use the www.freeannualcreditreport.com rather than any other site to avoid any accidental charges.
Credit Report Online
If you want to know where you stand before you apply for a loan, you should get a copy of your credit report. There are several ways to do this. You can join a website which will monitor your credit report and let you know when changes are made or inquiries are made on your individual credit report. The costs to joint these sites range from $.9.95 monthly up. This can get rather expensive and I don't recommend these just because of the cost involved.
The best way to obtain your credit report is free online. In the state of Georgia everyone is entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. This task is very easy to accomplish. Just go to "freeannualcreditreport.com" put in your information, answer some secuity questions and your report will be generated for your to print out. Repeat the process of each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Even though the free credit reports do not come with a credit score, it will give you all the information regarding individual accounts on your report.
College Students and Credit Reports
College students especially should pull their credit report. When you are trying to get money to go to college, you apply for student loans. These student loans are often deferred as long as you are in school. However, if you take off a semester and are unable to start paying on these loans, late payments are being reported to the credit bureaus. This happened to a family member. Until they applied for a loan to return to college, they had no idea that their credit had been ruined because they could not afford to go back to school the second semester of school. They found out able this when they went online to get the free annual credit report.
If you are a current college student or a college student who could not return to school this semester, please go online and get your free credit report so that you can make sure to keep these loans from having a negative impact on your credit report.
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