Check your full credit report

Checking your credit report is an essential step in managing your financial health. Your credit report contains detailed information about your credit history, including your borrowing and repayment behavior. Monitoring this information regularly helps you detect errors, spot signs of identity theft and maintain a good credit score. Here’s how to check your full credit report:

  • Access Your Report: You’re entitled to one free credit report* annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit the only authorized website for free credit reports, to request them.
  • Verify Your Identity: To access your reports, you’ll need to provide personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. This is crucial to ensure that you’re the only one accessing your sensitive financial data.
  • Review Your Reports: Once you receive your credit reports, carefully examine each one for accuracy. Look for any discrepancies, such as accounts you didn’t open, incorrect personal information or unfamiliar inquiries. These could be signs of errors or fraudulent activity.
  • Understand Your Report: Your credit report consists of several sections, including personal information, account history, inquiries and public records. Take the time to understand what each section entails and how the information within it impacts your creditworthiness.
  • Dispute Errors: If you spot any inaccuracies on your credit reports, file a dispute with the credit bureau reporting the error. They’re required to investigate your claim and correct any mistakes within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Monitor Regularly: Don’t wait until you need credit to check your reports. Make it a habit to review them periodically throughout the year. Some credit monitoring services offer ongoing access to your reports and alerts for changes, which can be helpful in staying vigilant.
  • Maintain Good Credit Habits: Ultimately, the goal of checking your credit reports is to maintain good credit health. Pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low and only apply for credit when necessary to ensure your credit reports reflect positively on your financial responsibility.

By following these steps and staying proactive about monitoring your credit reports, you can better safeguard your financial well-being and make informed decisions about your credit management.

*Free credit reports do not include the credit score.

The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only. For specific questions regarding your personal lending needs, please call RCB Bank at 855-BANK-RCB. RCB Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and member FDIC. RCB Bank NMLS #798151.

Sources:  Home Page. Annual Credit – Home Page. (2024).

Consumer Finance. (n.d.). I got my free credit reports, but they do not include my credit scores. can I get my credit score for free too?. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.