Spring is in the air, and it’s that time of year where people begin cleaning out closets, shaking dust bunnies out of things, washing the winter mess off of cars, and doing a general spring cleaning. While you’re at it, now is also a great time to do a financial spring cleaning. How does that work, you ask? It can be everything from cleaning out your wallet and shredding old receipts, to getting rid of ancient financial documents that you’ve got in the house or boxed up in your attic, to getting a free copy of your credit report and making sure that everything is on the up-and-up. I found a great article by Kim Adams that gives a tutorial in how to audit one’s credit report. She does it in response to identity theft, but it’s a good idea to do a credit audit once per year and not just when you fear your finances might be at risk from a thief. Check out Adams’ article in Yahoo Finance:
“I recently had a questionable alert come up with my finances. Fearing identity theft, I quickly moved to protect my credit health. I pulled a free credit report from Trans Union that I am entitled to obtain. The report was long and a bit confusing. After becoming comfortable with the report, I became a better consumer when it came to my own credit health.
This experience reinforced how important it is to regularly monitor credit reports from each of the three main credit bureaus: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. I will be checking a report from each of them every couple months until I am sure that no fraudulent activity has occurred on my account.”
Click here to read about how to audit your credit report successfully.
Hopefully this has given you a good idea about how to scour your credit report like a hawk and exactly what to look for. It’s not a bad idea to do this once per year–think of it as part of cleaning financial house–that way you never go more than a year without an error or mistake on your report that doesn’t get corrected. Happy spring cleaning!