Protect Yourself: Review Your Credit Report

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Real Estate

Today's world is full of identity theft and fraud, by regularly reviewing your credit report you will be able to monitor unauthorized activity. We must all remain vigilant to protect our credit score. Having a good credit score is important to purchasing a vehicle and to buying or renting a home. Mortgage lenders want to see borrowers have two credit cards in their name, so it is important to have credit and to be responsible in paying back the credit you use.

You can get a copy of your credit report, free, once every 12 months from each of the three reporting agencies. This means, by spreading out your requests, you could get a free credit report every 4 months and monitor your credit throughout the year.

To get a free credit report, visit

If you've been the victim of fraud/identity theft, you can place a fraud alert in your file by calling one of the three credit reporting agencies. A fraud alert will tell creditors to follow certain procedures, including contacting you before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. This can protect you, but may delay your efforts in seeking to obtain credit yourself. You can also place a security freeze on your credit report to prevent credit, loans and services from being approved in your name without your consent. It is free to place, lift or remove a security freeze. You can place a security freeze for children under the age of 16 and it may also be a good idea to put a freeze on the credit of elderly parents who may be susceptible to the many scammers targeting the older generation.

The three nationwide credit reporting agencies are:

Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374,, 1-866-349-5191, security freeze: 888-378-4329

Experian, PO Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013,, 1-888-397-3742, security freeze:

TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022,, 1-800-916-8800, security freeze: