For a lot of people the new year brings about new financial goals. There is one thing you can do today to make sure you enter the new year with the right information to hit those financial goals. Everyone can be is in different place with their finances, but not matter where you are, most people need to know what’s going on with their credit.
Did you know that you are entitled to one free credit report from each other major reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian through annualcreditreport.com every year. This credit report isn’t associated with any of those catchy commercials, it is free and there is no sign up required. You can however, only request one report from each credit agency every 12 months.
So, why am I encouraging you to get your credit report today on New Year’s Eve as a part of your financial plan? Well, if you get it today, you will be able to get 3 free more reports in 6 months (or you can space them out). The clock resets on the one-year free period every January 1.
Understand that you will have access to your credit report, but not your credit score. Accessing your credit score will cost you. I have two banks, well a credit union and a bank and they provide access to my credit score for free. Check with your bank to see if that is a service they offer before you pay for that service. Some credit cards also offer free access to your credit score as well.
Reasons to Check Your Credit Today
- You are planning a major purchase. If you set a goal that this is the year you get that new to you car, you need to be aware of what is on your credit report and your credit score so you can know if you are getting a good interest rate. At another time we can talk about how to buy a car with cash instead of credit.
- You are planning to rent an apartment or buy a house. If you are buying a house, the first step is to get your finances in order before you even think about talking to an agent. As a former REALTOR I can tell you I wouldn’t take a client to see a house until we knew what they could actually afford. No matter if you are buying or renting, getting your credit report and score will alert you to the things you may need to cleanup before actually being able to move out.
- Identify fraud. Checking your credit report at least once a year is advisable to protect you from identify theft. You want to make sure no one has gotten your information and opened a credit card using your name. Identify theft can be a costly thing if it happens to you. Imagine that a few years from now that you decide to fulfill that American dream of buying a home, only to discover that your credit has been ruined by someone who stole your identity? That would be pretty devastating. Keep an eye on your credit and identity.
- Set your goal of becoming debt free. Your road to debt freedom starts with knowing how much debt you have. Your credit report will be a sum of all of your existing debt. No matter if you owe $300, $3,000 or $30,000 in debt, you need to face the reality of just how much is there. Once you have that number, start working on a budget so that you can know how much money exactly is going in and out every month, and how much extra you have towards paying off your debt. Even if you are still a student, you need to know how much student loan debt you’ve acquired so you can be smart about additional debt in your remaining school years.
Even if by the time you’ve read this post it is no longer December 31st, you should still check your credit today. This year, 2017, is the time to get your financial affairs in order and that can start today, connect with me now. Sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter with useful tips to help you tackle your money challenges like budgeting, saving, kicking your student loan debt to the curb, investing and other money related motives that will move you to your financial freedom goals this year.
It doesn’t matter if your are a student, recent graduate or nearing retirement, if you want to tackle your money in 2017, I want to join you on your journey.
Happy New Year!
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