It seems like I’ve read the suggestion a million times all over the personal finance blogosphere- check your credit report! In fact, according to these million bloggers, I should be checking it three or four times a year. I thought this was great advice. I understood the importance of it and I absolutely planned to do it- some time. I figured I would eventually have time and think ‘I will use this time to check my credit report!’. Of course, this magical perfect amount of time either did not occur or my credit checking thoughts did not sync themselves up with these adorable little blocks of time… Bottom line: I procrastinated the heck out of checking my credit report.
Finally, I put the task on my to-do list. I continued to procrastinate for a few months until this one task was the only thing preventing me from being able to rip an entire page out of my to-do list book. Suddenly, the reward for requesting my credit report was much higher. I had finally found the motivation to do it! Must.. check… off.. task!!!
Requesting my credit report ended up being one of the easiest financial tasks I’ve completed in a long while. How could I have put off something so insanely simple for so long? And to think that I could have checked it off my list so much sooner had I known that it would take up exactly 4 minutes of my time!
To keep a short story short, I went online to Transunion. I called the 1-800 number listed. I answered the automated questions to confirm my identity. (Have your SIN # handy if you don’t know it off by heart. Speaking of which, how many of you know your SIN # from memory? I only learned mine this year after typing it in for parental benefits a million times but I have noticed that people in their 50s almost always know it from memory.) A couple days later my credit report showed up in my mailbox.
I’d have been requesting my credit report every month for years had I known how incredibly satisfying it would be to see all my financial history on this piece of paper! I suppose if you have a lot of debt it could be disheartening, but if you have paid off a few balances it is so great to see the rows of 0 balances! It’s like a report card for your finances and I got a good grade!!
Aside from my loan/credit history, the information Transunion has is pretty outdated. For instance, the last employer they have listed for me is from 2004. I’ve had three other employers since then and I’ve been at my most recent job for the past 7 years. Mainly, I can see that there are no errors or red flags pertaining to identity theft. Phew!
I still don’t know my actual credit score. The free report that Transunion provides is a credit report but does not include your actual score. From what I can tell, you have to pay money for that… and I’m just so cheap! I might be a bit tempted though- after getting a taste of what it feels like to get an A+ on my financial report card!