Protecting Your Credit During the COVID-19 Crisis
When a crisis hits, it’s important to stay on top of your finances as best you can and monitor your credit.
Due to the hardship caused by COVID-19, all U.S. consumers can get free weekly online credit reports now through April 20, 2022 from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, your credit might be the last thing on your mind. During times of emergencies though, such as global pandemics or natural disasters, you should know the state of your finances and keep your credit on your radar. Along with your physical health being a top priority, so should the state of your financial health and wellness.
Normally, your credit report is available every 12 months from all three credit bureaus–TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Given the vast number of consumers’ financial health being impacted by the current economic conditions, online access to your report is now available on a weekly basis. Visit annualcreditreport.com and follow the prompts.
Remember your credit report and credit score are two different things, and your report will not include your credit score.
There are four main ways you can acquire your score, including checking your credit card or other loan statements, talking to a non-profit certified credit counselor, using a credit score service (be sure you know what you are signing up for and how much it really costs!), or buying a score directly from one of the three credit bureaus–TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax.
There are additional ways you can be proactive with your credit. Follow these steps to help keep your credit on solid footing.
1. Pay your bills on time, if you can.
2. Contact your creditors and service providers.
3. Check your credit regularly.
4. Be extra protective of your identity.
5. Get financial assistance, if needed.
6. Dispute inaccurate information.
How to Order Your Credit Report
You’ll need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. If you’ve moved in the last two years, you may need to provide your previous address. For security purposes and to verify your identity, you may be asked for information only you would know, like your monthly mortgage payment.
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