How to get your first credit report

Want more information on banking and credit? Read our guide for advice and tips.

Start off by selecting “request your free credit reports” and enter in your personal information. This includes your address, Social Security number, and birthday. Be prepared to answer questions about yourself and your credit history. Some questions may ask about monthly loan payments or the name of the credit provider for your loan, if any. Other questions may ask about your hometown, county, or phone number.

If any of those questions are answered incorrectly, you will be unable to access your credit report. I had to refer to my past loan statements to make sure I was answering these questions correctly, so it may be helpful if you have these documents in hand. Once you verify your identity, you will have access to view your credit report.

If you see any inaccuracies or information that needs updating, make sure to report it, as any incorrect information can cause damage to your credit history. Keeping up to date with such information also helps prevent identity theft.

What I found is that once you receive your credit report from one of these companies, you cannot request to view it again for free until the next year. A suggestion would be to save the file and print it. Keep the report in your records. That way you can refer back to it at any time.

If you want to monitor your credit report more often, you can do so by requesting a new credit report from one of the three national credit-reporting companies every four months. This will provide a layer of protection to your credit profile. It's never too early or too late to start keeping track of your credit history.

— Marcy Robles

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