Many people are concerned about financial security during the coronavirus pandemic. That’s why it’s important for you to stay on top of your credit reports, but a new survey says fewer people are checking.
“The worrying thing is that it’s never been easier to get a free credit report,” said Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst. “You can do it even once a week due to a rule change that the offices introduced at the beginning of the pandemic.”
The survey also looked at which age groups are reviewing their credit reports. LendingTree found that the silent generation and baby boomers check their relationships less often than other generations.
“They may not be as likely to pursue a mortgage or a car loan or a credit card, so their credit report may not make much of a difference to them,” Schulz said. “However, those most vulnerable to fraud may be the least likely to control.”
Generation X and Millennials were very likely to check their credit reports at least once a month.
Schulz says you don’t need to check every week, but only 33 percent of people said they checked their credit report in the past year. It’s down from the number of people who have claimed to check their reports every year for the past two years.
“It’s important for you to check your credit report,” Schulz said. “It’s important for you to stay up to date when it comes to identity theft and it doesn’t really take that long to do so.”
Schulz says simply checking your credit score isn’t enough. There is a lot of detailed information in credit reports that can show problems with your financial security.
“Your credit report is basically your history over the past seven or ten years of how many different loans you had and how you handled them,” Schulz said. “Mistakes happen on these reports more often than you can imagine.”
These mistakes can affect you the next time you open a credit card or take out a loan for a home or car. That’s why Schulz says you need to check your reports at least once a year.
“If you have time to check Twitter, Instagram and Facebook 10 times a day, you have time to be able to take some of these preventative measures when it comes to identity theft,” Schulz said.
If you’d like to get a free copy of your credit report, visit AnnualCreditReport.com. If you see something wrong or questionable on your credit report, contact that credit reporting agency online or over the phone.