To help Americans better monitor their financial health, the major credit reporting agencies have all announced that they are offering free weekly credit reports for the next year.
Free Credit Reports Every Week: What You Need to Know
Money expert Clark Howard says expanding access to the reports is a big win for consumers. “The three of them are now offering you access to your credit report every week for free,” he says.
Here’s why credit report access is going to be so crucial going forward, according to Clark.
“There are going to be so many inaccuracies that are going to be posted on credit reports over these months,” he says. “This is an opportunity for you to see what’s going on with these reports. And the sooner you see it, the quicker you can do something about correcting the error.”
Clark says some consumers will need to pay particular attention to these two areas when it comes to credit report accuracy:
- Mortgage forbearance: If you’re a homeowner who has petitioned your lender for mortgage forbearance, you’ll want to make sure your credit doesn’t get dinged for it.
“There are already published reports that mortgage lenders are reporting people as delinquent in forbearance situations,” Clark says. “Checking your credit report often will catch that quickly.”
- Payment holidays: If your credit card company offers you a payment holiday — essentially an option to skip the minimum payment for the next billing cycle — you’ll want to check to see if it shows up as a missed payment on your report.
“When a lender offers you something like that, they technically aren’t supposed to report you as delinquent,” Clark says.
How to Get Your Weekly Free Credit Report
Here’s how to access your free credit report every week through April 2021:
- Go to AnnualCreditReport.com
- Click on “Request Your Free Credit Reports”
- Fill out the form, which asks for your personal information
- Confirm your identity with each credit bureau
- After verification, you’ll be forwarded to your credit reports
Remember, if you notice a discrepancy or see something that doesn’t look right, you can dispute your credit report.
Clark says in addition to getting your free credit reports on a weekly basis, he’d love for you to do one other very important thing: Sign up for Credit Karma.
Credit Karma is “where you’ll be able to see a facsimile of your credit scores free whenever you want and you’ll be able to see your credit reports whenever you wish, as well,” he says.
If you’re unfamiliar with the site or need some help, read Team Clark’s full review on Credit Karma.