If you are in the U.S., there's really no excuse not to check your credit report for errors now that you can get a report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every twelve months for free. So why haven't I done so already? Chalk one up for inertia. My credit report hasn't played a noticeable role in my life so far. Most of my friends had to get their credit scores checked and/or have their parents co-sign their leases due to their lack of credit histories. My landlord had a one page lease written in plain English that included a promise that I didn't owe a previous landlord money. That was it: no credit check, no background check, just one signature and a handshake.
It's time to overcome that inertia and check my credit history. I'd hate to find out ten years from now while trying to buy a house that some creep defaulted on a boat loan in my name in 2006. It'd be much better to catch any errors while I still have plenty of time to fix them. So off to www.annualcreditreport.com I go.
Getting into the habit of doing this regularly is a great idea. I think I'm going to follow the advice of my ex-boyfriend's dad and check Transunion now, Experian in four months, and Equifax four months after that. He thinks you might be more likely to catch any problems quickly that way, and it makes some sense.
The only problem with checking my credit report is that I'm tempted to shell out the extra fifteen bucks to get a credit score as well. That's probably a sign that I've read too much Suze Orman. I don't need credit right now, and I know that even though I don't have a lengthy credit history, I should have a decent score for insurance and other miscellaneous purposes thanks to my stellar payment history and low utilization ratio. There's really not much to gain by spending the money to satisfy my curiosity.