Your credit scores play an important role in your life. These scores determine your ability to access credit and obtain favorable interest rates. Your credit scores could have an impact on your ability to find work or a place to live. The good news is that credit scores are not permanent. Even if you are currently struggling with low credit scores and issues with your credit reports, there are always opportunities to make improvements. Below, we discuss one of the most important steps to repairing your credit – pulling your three credit reports.
Our Kansas City bankruptcy attorney has experience helping people find debt relief options. Continue reading to learn more about pulling free credit reports.
Your best bet is to use annualcreditreport.com, a site operated by the three credit reporting agencies. You can pull one free credit report per year. Experian continues to operate freecreditreport.com, an older version of the site. You can reportedly obtain a credit report and FICO score for $1 from that site.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion maintain your credit history, but not your scores. Your credit history does have an impact on your FICO and VantageScore credit scores. Late payments or defaults on your credit history will impact your score.
Using annualcreditreport.com is generally pretty easy if you keep documentation of your finances, such as prior debt obligations or residences. You would need to request a credit report from each agency to get a full picture of what is on your reports. Note that the reports may not always be consistent. You may notice that a report from TransUnion lists a late payment, but one for Experian does not.
When you begin the process, it helps to have documentation of prior income, addresses and loans. You may be asked about these prior residences and loans during the process. As annoying as it might be to find this information, the goal here is to avoid instances of identity theft.
Are There Other Ways to Monitor Your Credit?
Of course. There is no shortage of ways to monitor your credit. The problem is that many of those other options, in fact almost all of them, are not free. If they are free, they may not give you a comprehensive view of your credit history, perhaps only showing your credit history with one credit reporting agency instead of all three.
Many banks offer credit monitoring services as do many apps. CreditKarma is a well-known credit monitoring app, but only takes into account your VantageScore score from TransUnion and Equifax. VantageScore is a credit scoring model, like FICO. FICO scores have been around since the late 1980s. The VantageScore model was only created in 2006.
What Should I Do With My Free Credit Reports?
Once you obtain your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, you can piece together a roadmap for repairing your finances. Your credit reports would allow you to determine which past-due or defaulted debts to tackle first.
Repairing credit can take time. Make sure that you remain in good standing on any of your existing debt obligations. Consider making payments on time by using an auto-payment service with your bank. Avoid taking on excessive debts in the future and be sure to build savings.
Questions? Contact Our Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorneys
For some debtors, bankruptcy may be the best option for repairing finances. If you are facing creditor collection actions due to excessive debts, then you should consider contacting us for a free initial consultation. Call (816) 221-6006 or use the contact form on our site.