Obtaining a Credit Report
There are many reasons why you would need to obtain a 3 credit report. Generally, though, it’s to secure some sort of a loan from the bank such as a mortgage or to apply for a credit card. In other cases, people may need to check their credit score because of security reasons — they have been the victim of identity theft and want to make sure the criminals have not done anything wrong with their financial information.
Where do you get your credit report?
Depending on what country you live in, you can often get a free credit report from any of the large credit checking agencies. Many governments (such as the United States, Canada and most of the European countries) provide laws which allow you to access this information for free under the various freedom of information acts.
In the United States, you can fill out a form usually found at the bottom of the major credit checking agency websites for a free credit check. You will usually need to give them your name, address and social insurance number and there may even be a time limit of one of these every year. You will usually receive your credit score in the post within a few weeks.
Obtaining an enhanced credit report
An enhanced free credit reports from all 3 bureaus might in fact be more appropriate to your needs in many cases. You can get one of these at any of the major credit checking associations, such as TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. All three of these companies offer a variety of competing services, so you might need to check each individual website for the current benefits in comparison.
Some useful features of an enhanced credit report
Getting an enhanced credit report will give you access to a lot of information and you should look at the different services available and see if you need any of these features.
Live and current situation. All three of the agencies allow you to track your current credit score in real time. You can log in at any time of the day and check to see what your rating is at that particular time. There will probably be a 1-2 day delay as you make purchases, but using a feature such as this it is easy to stay on top of criminals who are trying to use your identity. You will be able to respond much faster to a developing situation and take steps to inform your credit card company or a relevant party that you are a victim if needed.
Alerts to email and cell phone. For the added layer of extra protection, you can choose to have your credit report changes texted to your cell phone or sent to you by email, so you do not have to log in, only when necessary.
Analysis of your credit. All three of the services offer an in-depth analysis of your buying habits and can potentially give you great advice to improve your credit report in the future.
Make sure you stay on top of your free credit reports and sign up for one of the three services..