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Many people pay for credit monitoring and while I do see the value in this I never actually want to pay for it. By law though you are allowed to see your credit report, not score, from each of the three credit reporting companies once a year. This allows you to see if the information is correct and to make sure that no one else is using your name and social security number. You can also see if there are any items in collections on your account. Getting this report does not affect your score because they are not actually running your credit and they do not give you your credit score. It is just a safety measure for you to identify identity theft.

When hubby and I went to buy our first house we found out that someone had used my name and social security number to activate a phone account somewhere in Illinois. It had been in collections for about 2-3 years and we didn’t even know! To get it off of my credit I had to file a report with the police department (a detective came to my house and asked me questions about it), then I had to file this police report, notarized copies of our apartment leases to show we were not living in Illinois at the time, and a letter to all three credit companies before they would finally take it off my report. Whew! Anyway, it is a good thing to know what is on your report before you are trying to buy something.

Now, how to monitor your credit. This is just my opinion, you can do it anyway you like, but I think my way is pretty good. 🙂

Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the site set up for you to get your three free reports (one from each company) yearly. If you go to freecreditreport.com you will be enrolling in “Triple Advantage Credit Monitoring” for $14.95/month. Ugh. Ok, so get the correct site. Then I would suggest only getting one from one of the companies: TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax. The information on any one of them should be the same on all of them. So I order one, wait about four months and then order one of the other ones, wait about four months and then order the one I haven’t gotten for the year. In this way I can “monitor” what is on my credit reports. If you order all three at once you have to wait a year before you can order them again. Be careful though, even on this site there are products that you can “check” and will be charged for.

Hope you find this helpful and happy credit monitoring!

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