Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Have Never Seen Their Credit Report: Survey
Would it surprise you that almost 1 in 4 Americans have never seen their credit report?
A new FindLaw survey shows that not only do nearly a quarter of Americans live in ignorance of their credit information, you may be less likely to have checked your credit score based on your sex.
The survey finds that while 18% of women have never checked their credit report, among men the rate is 25%.
Those who make more income are also generally more likely to be aware of their credit information, but up to 14% of individuals making over $75,000 annually claim they have never checked their credit reports either.
Why stay in the dark about your credit?
Here are three reasons to check your credit report today.
1. You See What Credit Reporting Agencies See.
When you receive your credit report, you will see the same sort of information that the credit reporting agencies see.
This information includes:
- Your prior addresses and phone numbers,
- Bank accounts and loans listed under your name,
- A monthly analysis of each account (were you late on payments?),
- Whether an account is in collections or foreclosure, and
- Who accessed your account.
If you see any mistakes or surprises in the report, you can contact the credit reporting agency to resolve the problem.
2. Keep An Eye on Fraud.
Since you'll have access to any accounts opened in your name, keeping yourself familiar with your annual credit report is a great way to stay alert with regard to fraud.
If you find an account or loan that was opened without your knowledge or permission, contact the credit reporting agency and issue a fraud alert.
The Federal Trade Commission has more information about how to protect your credit if you suspect you've been the victim of identity theft.
3. It's Your Right As a Consumer.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was passed in order to protect consumers and regulate credit reporting agencies.
This law guarantees that each of the three national credit reporting agencies provide consumers a free copy of their credit report every 12 months. You can go to annualcreditreport.com to get your three free reports.
- Legal How-To: Checking Your Credit Report (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Extended Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes (Federal Trade Commission)
- Identity Theft (FindLaw)
- FTC: Credit Report Errors Rampant, May Be Costly for Consumers (FindLaw's Common Law)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.