Money Talks, So Should You

Q&A: How can I check my credit report regularly?

David John Marotta
by David John Marotta, NAPFA (@MarottaOnMoney)

To get the maximum benefit, stagger when you check your free reports throughout the year. Your spouse is also entitled to free credit reports. By alternating with your spouse, you can check your shared credit every two months.

January: You request a report from TransUnion

March: Your spouse requests report from Equifax

May: You request a report from Experian

July: Your spouse requests a report from TransUnion

September: You request a report from Equifax

November: Your spouse requests a report from Experian

READ: Three smart strategies to improve your credit score

You can add a fraud alert message to your credit report to help protect your credit information. Fraud alert messages notify potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your information without your consent. Review a copy of your personal credit report. If you believe that information in your credit report is inaccurate due to identity theft or fraud, contact the bureau at the phone number on your report for assistance from a representative specially trained in consumer credit fraud.

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David John Marotta, CFP, AIF, is president of Marotta Wealth Management, Inc. Marotta is a member of the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors (NAPFA), a fee-only professional association and a Dimespring knowledge partner.