Consumer Alert: Making your credit report work for you

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Whether it is getting the most out of your money or protecting yourself from identity theft, your credit report is often the best weapon.

Credit reports can impact how much you pay for your mortgage or how much you pay for a new car or car insurance. Experts advise checking your credit file at least once per year or more if you are worried about identity theft.

“Obviously, if you see an account that isn't yours, that's a red flag. But a lot of people don't pay attention to ‘A.K.A.s’, names that are similar to yours but not the same, or addresses,” says financial planner Paul Oster.

Experts say that there are several things to do once you have your credit report to make sure everything is correct.

  • Check address  history for any addresses that don’t match where you once lived
  • Check to make sure social security numbers match
  • Dispute any information that doesn’t seem to belong.

Citizens are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Credit reports can be checked at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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