Free weekly credit reports are available until April 2022
- Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian have announced they will be increasing the number of times a person can receive a credit report for free until April 2022.
- The three major credit bureaus have agreed that their clients should know how their transactions will be affecting their credit reports during the pandemic.
- Check your credit report for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
Federal law mandates that a person is entitled to receive a free credit report from each of the three national reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, every 12 months. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three major credit reporting agencies announced that users will be entitled to three free weekly credits reports per week until April 20, 2022.
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion released a joint statement, expressing how they want their users to know about their financial health in light of the many hardships that the world is experiencing due to COVID-19. They believe that due to the changing times of the pandemic, people having regular access to their credit reports allows them to understand their financial situation better. This will enable each user to make the appropriate financial decisions to manage their money, credit score, and overall financial health properly.
Why is a credit report important?
A credit report is a statement that has information about your overall credit activity and current credit situation. Your credit report includes information like your history of paying loans (student loans, mortgage, etc.), the status of your current or inactive credit accounts, collection items, and inquiries.
Knowing what’s on your credit report is crucial because it gives you an idea of how your past and current credit transactions will affect your chances of receiving loans in the future. In addition, a credit report gives lenders, creditors, and financial institutions a close look into your financial background, revealing if you are a creditworthy candidate for a loan.
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What should I keep in mind when looking at my credit report?
When assessing your credit report, your payment history is one of the biggest factors that can impact your score. It is crucial to pay off your debts on time because it will play a significant role in lenders determining your interest rate on a loan. In these unprecedented times, having constant access to your credit report is essential. In addition, monitoring your financial health can help you manage your money and credit with ease.
Also, if you spend money using a credit card, make sure to keep your credit utilization ratio at 30% or lower. If you are over this credit utilization ratio, your credit score can be negatively affected. Plus, it also means that you are actively keeping your debts at a high amount each month, and it could make you seem like a risky candidate.
According to FICO, your credit score is calculated in the following ways:
- Payment history - 35%
- Your payment history shows lenders if you are reliable enough to pay back your debt on time.
- Credit Utilization - 30%
- The percentage of your available credit that you have used. A low credit ratio of 30% may increase your credit score.
- The average age of your accounts - 15%
- The longer you have an active credit account in good standing, it will help to increase your credit score.
- Types of credit - 10%
- The diversity of your credit mix can range from having a bank credit card, a student loan, or a mortgage loan.
- New credit - 10%
- How often you apply for a new credit line will indicate to lenders how frequently you shop around for credit. Both hard and soft inquiries show lenders the significance of the credit line.
How can a credit report help you learn more about your finances?
The main benefit of having constant access to your credit reports is they can help you improve your spending habits. Generally, it takes 30 days (the average time of a full billing cycle) for new reports such as a missed payment or a recently paid debt to show up on your credit report. However, since you can now access your credit report every week for free, you can take advantage of viewing your credit report to help improve your overall financial health.
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Where can you receive your free weekly credit report?
If you wish to receive your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and follow their process to receive a copy of your credit report. When accessing this website, make sure you have your social security number and personal information ready. They will ask you a series of questions to ensure that no one else is trying to steal your identity.
What are your thoughts on the credit reporting agencies extending this offer to their clients? Let us know in the comments below.