Tips About Your Free Annual Credit Report

Did you know a review of your free annual credit report can save you thousands upon thousands of dollars? That is a staggering thought in itself; don’t you agree? But there is something worse; that can be happening to you. Your personal reputation and good credit could be ruined forever. You can lose your personal reputation and thousands of dollars if you don’t know someone stole your identity. The following tips will help to keep this from happening to you.

Identity theft has become an illegal enterprise which has profited the thieves to hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars a year. One of the main reasons it has become so profitable is that people, just like you, have no idea their identity has been stolen. The first way you may find out about it is when the following scenario’s or something similar happen to you.

One evening you and your family are setting in the family room watching a little TV and relaxing. Suddenly you get a phone call from a mortgage company, which you know nothing about, wanting 90 days of back mortgage payments. As you’re standing there in confusion and disbelief this guy is telling you, if you don’t pay, legal action will be taken.

If not that scenario, then perhaps you get a credit card bill for a credit card you have never seen. You open the bill and there is $5000.00 worth of charges for electronics charged against your name. It also shows you are more than 60 days delinquent in payments. It is mind numbing and debasing to you and your family. Your first thoughts are how could this happen?

Chances are if this happens to you it is because your personal identity has been stolen. This thief has used your social security number, your driver’s license number, date of birth and other personal information to get approved for the credit card or loan. The many ways this can be done are beyond the scope of this article. However, there is a way you could have been alerted much sooner and perhaps shut it down before all the damage was done.

In July of 2005, the Federal Government of the United States, passed legislation that gave every citizen in the United States, including you, to be able to get a copy of their free annual credit report. All you have to do is go on-line, write or call and request a free copy from the following 3 major credit reporting agencies:

1. Equifax: http://www.equifax.com/home/ Phone: 1-800-525-6285
2. Experian: http://www.experian.com/ Phone: 1-888-397-3742
3. TransUnion: http://www.transunion.com/ Phone: 1-800-680-7289

Not only can you get your free copy of your credit report, each of these credit reporting agencies, have other programs which can help you. In case of Identity theft they have free information on how to repair your credit report. They offer 24 hour monitoring of your credit report. In addition they provide other programs which can help keep your credit rating safe.

For instance you can put a freeze on your credit report. This prevents anyone from checking your credit without your express approval. However, just for your information a freeze can also slow down the process when you apply for new credit.

As you can see, by learning about your free annual credit report, you have other services from the Big 3 which can help protect you. If you suspect fraud, identity theft and are suddenly getting approved for credit cards and other loans; it’s time to grab your free annual credit report.