If you’re thinking about mortgage refinancing the first thing you should do before all else is check your credit reports. Don’t waste money buying credit reports or signing up for one of those credit monitoring services just to get a “free credit report.” Here are several tips to help you check out your credit prior to refinancing without wasting any of your hard earned cash.
Credit Reports Are Free…Period
Legislation in the United States known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act passed in 2003 was intended to help you protect your credit and help prevent identity theft. This law requires the three credit reporting agencies that maintain your credit reports to provide you one free copy of your credit report every year. There are no fees or services to try…this is not to say the credit agencies won’t try and up sell you with a credit score ; however, you really don’t to pay for that either.
All you need to get a truly free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion is to visit the website AnnualCreditReport.com The website is secure and sports the latest encryption; however, if you don’t feel comfortable entering all of your personally identifiable information including your social security number into a website you can get the same reports sent to you by calling 1-877-322-8228 or mailing a written request to:
Annual Credit Request Service
P. O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
It’s important to review your credit reports (make sure you check all three) every year in order to catch mistakes or identity theft should you become a victim. Mistakes in your credit report can result in higher interest rates or fees such as security deposits unnecessarily. Millions of Americans in the United States become the victim of identity theft every year. In fact, your chances of becoming a victim are statistically one in twenty.
Before you think about applying for a home loan or refinancing your existing mortgage go over all three credit reports with a fine-tooth comb. If you find mistakes in your credit reports each credit agency has a procedure for disputing errors. Correcting errors in your credit reports is free by the way…don’t let someone con you into purchasing their magical credit repair “kit.” More information about identity theft and protecting yourself is available free of charge on the FTC website at ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).