Keeping check on your credit report is extremely important, especially if you’re hoping to go for some form or another of credit in the near future.
Credit reports allow you to see how well you’re doing, where you could improve and also where there may be mistakes on your credit report. This can be used to help you improve your score, get better finance deals and pay lower rates of interest. However, there’s a darker side to ‘free’ credit reports and many businesses that offer these reports use all sorts of ways to help you part with your change. Here are some of the things you need to look out for.
The first thing to be aware of is that a lot of credit report companies provide you with an initial report free. However, to get the first report you will also have to sign up for the free trial period. The length of this period varies and if you stay signed up longer than this period, you will end up having to pay the month by month to check your score – making it anything but free.
People often rush into credit checks when they need a new credit card or are looking for a new mortgage. It’s understandable getting caught up in the heat of the moment when someone says they will buy my house from me and you have to sort out finance for a new one quickly.
One of the ways that credit companies make it harder for you to leave is by making the process hard. It may involve a phone call and a long conversation to cancel a subscription. This may also be charged at a quite high call rate, which further adds to the money these companies make and the cost of your ‘free’ credit report.
Beware what you agree to
A number of credit companies will offer you a free credit report, but you will have to sign any number of online forms and tick all sorts of boxes before you get as far as your report. Be aware that those many of these boxes may seem inconsequential; some may be an agreement by you to sign up to an additional service at a cost, often unwittingly. This will see money taken out of your bank account on a monthly basis for a service you may not actually have consciously agreed to. This may end up racking up quite a bill and once again, it may be hard to cancel the direct debit and the phone call may cost money.
Some of the less elaborate scams will offer to provide you with your credit report if you set up a direct debit, though may only be a way of getting your bank details. These scams will often be created by unknown companies and not ones you see more regularly. So, if in doubt, just use one of the better established companies. Generally they have the clearest guidelines and what you see is what you get.
A credit report can work well for you and it’s advisable to check your status every so often to ensure you’re on the right track and that there is no need for corrections. However, be aware of the above issues and you shouldn’t have too many problems with your reports.
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