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Is One Time Credit Report Enough?

While it is true that the government enacted a law stating that every consumer is entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies in the United States, is one time credit report enough? Perhaps many years ago a one-time credit report would have been adequate, but in todayís world there are a number of reasons why it may be insufficient.

The Age of Electronic Data Transfer

As recently as a couple of decades ago, most creditors reported to the three credit rating agencies by fax and/or USPS mail. There were no centralized computer data bases established which could be accessed 24/7 in order to upload reports. In fact, it wasnít until the mid 1990ís that the Internet virtually exploded, making information quicker and easier to access. Now creditors can upload to the reporting agencies daily if needed which is one of the main reasons why a one-time credit report may not be enough. Your credit report can change many times throughout the week if creditors report negative or positive payment history.

Identity Theft Running Rampant

While the age of electronic data transfer enables consumers to instantly access information on the Web, it also enables thieves to intercept that data and literally steal your identity. Only accessing your credit report once leaves you wide open to identity theft which is a leading cause of bad credit scores. If you can monitor your credit report so that every time a change is reported, you can more easily protect yourself against identity theft. There are a few ways of doing this, which include contracting a credit monitoring service that will notify you by email or text message every time your credit report registers a change. You can also apply for your three free annual credit reports staggered throughout the year, although this isnít as efficient because there are four months in between each report.

Human Error Can Affect Your Credit Report

Then there is human error to be concerned with. Sometimes a data entry clerk at Experian, TransUnion or Equifax make mistakes, after all they are only human. However, they are not the only ones responsible for errors on your credit report. Lenders are also known to make reporting errors which can have a devastating effect on your credit. Your credit report could have erroneous information recorded and you would never know until you were refused credit or that perfect job you have been waiting for. Sometimes it could be as simple an error as wrong digits in your social security number while other times you could be reported as not paying your Master Card on time when you have been keeping a zero balance for years. A one-time credit report would not afford you the opportunity to catch human errors before they can do some serious damage.

Monitoring Your Credit Report

As mentioned, the best way to make sure that your credit report is as accurate as possible is to monitor it on a regular basis. Yes, you are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies, but is that enough? In order to keep tabs on what is being recorded on your credit report, it is always beneficial to find a service that will notify you as changes occur. They are not expensive and will help you to correct errors or fraud as soon as they are entered on your credit report. Is one time credit report enough? If maintaining a good credit score is important to you, a one-time credit report just isnít going to be enough.

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