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Credit Reports

EVERY YEAR, YOU ARE ENTITLED to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your all-important credit score is based on the information in these reports. To view your three reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s a good idea to check your credit reports every year, especially if you plan to borrow a large sum to buy, say, a house or car. You might even rotate through the three credit bureaus, reviewing one report from one bureau every four months.

What should you look for? See if there are any accounts you don’t recognize. That could be an indication that you’re a victim of identity theft. Also check your credit reports for inaccuracies, such as incorrect information about debt payments, past employers or places where you have lived. Look for any debts that are listed more than once. Filed for bankruptcy more than 10 years ago? That should no longer appear in your credit reports.

If you spot erroneous information in any of your three reports, contact either the credit bureau itself or the company that supplied the incorrect information. Through their websites, Equifax.com, Experian.com and TransUnion.com, all three credit bureaus allow you to submit an online request to have inaccuracies fixed.

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