As you make financial decisions in tough times, it is important to understand how credit works and how your credit report can affect your choices. Credit reports are records of your financial health and are the basis for credit scores. Your credit history can impact your ability to get a loan and how much you will be charged. It can also affect your ability to get a job or find housing.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three national credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — are now offering consumers free weekly online credit reports through April 2021. The reports, available on AnnualCreditReport.com, are being made available to all Americans to offer protection as many face financial hardship due to the coronavirus.
Before this announcement, you could get one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit bureau. Lenders and online credit education tools often provide free reports on demand as well.
The economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic means that many credit card bills and other debts are going unpaid. Lenders are allowing consumers to delay some payments without negative credit reporting, but consumers should verify that the accounts are noted as current on their credit reports.
Request your free credit reports tool from the Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit to get a copy of your credit reports. Then review your credit reports to make sure your credit information is correct.
If you see incorrect information in your credit report, use the disputing errors tool. Errors can appear due to a mistake in the information provided about you or as the result of fraud or identity theft. If you find errors on your credit reports, you should dispute them with the credit reporting company (most often Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion).