Since September 1, 2005, people in my area of the country have been entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each credit reporting agency. Last year, I got my report a few days early, avoiding the “rush.” I had planned to space my requests evenly throughout the year, by getting one every four months, but that avoided my radar. I finally got around to requesting my free credit report today. (I may have been subconsciously reminded to do so by MyMoneyBlog’s recent credit check.)
(Make sure you go to annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports. Searching online could deliver you to one of many copycat sites that will try to charge you. Even by using the free site, you have to dodge “special offers,” but annualcreditreport.com is the real deal.)
While last year’s report from Experian listed two “potentially negative items,” today’s from Equifax lists none. I’m in the clear. The only “hard inquiry” on my credit in the last year is from Scottrade, who checked my credit when I moved my brokerage account from fee-happy Wachovia to the more wallet-friendly discount brokerage.
The new credit report is still printing at this moment (28 pages!) but I’ll soon file it away with my previous.
I don’t bother with my credit score. It costs money to retrieve and as long as I stay smart, it will never be a problem.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published March 29, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.