Getting a Free Credit Report
Having a solid credit history is of course a 'good thing'. When you apply for a new credit line (like buying a car or a house), you may find that you don't qualify for the best interest rates, and this may in fact keep you from making the purchase you would like to.
There are all kinds of reasons to have less than sterling credit:
Checking your credit report from time to time allows you to proactively clean up your own prior bad acts, close accounts that no longer mean anything to you, and perhaps most importantly spot fraud early and nip it in the bud.
A year or so back, the U.S. Government passed a law that says you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report. You can get this once a year from each of the big credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian). If you're smart about it, you can hit each of them about four months apart and have nearly continuous coverage for free.
The free site that is mandated by the government is at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. I post this on my site in part so that I can remember 'which site is free', and avoid the ones that are trying to sell me something. Ironically, by posting it here on my site I will probably attract advertising from some of those that are trying to sell you your credit report.
By all means pay money for a credit report if it offers you enhanced features like your 'credit score', timely email reminders or other things that you value for the price being paid for them. Just keep your eye on the fact that you can get your basic credit report for free with no obligations.
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