Your reasons to check your credit report every year are plentiful. Not to mention the fact that it is completely free! The FCRA and the FACT act have made it mandatory for the 3 national credit bureaus to provide you with free copy once in 12 months. More about that later. First business, why you should bother at all.
1- Your report is pulled by the creditor every time that you apply for any form of credit like credit cards, home loans, personal loans, auto loans, student loans etc. It only makes sense that you know before hand what is on your report before the creditor does. Many people have had surprises sprung on them when they have been denied credit based on an entry of a late payment that they did not even remember or thought to be of any importance. While you cannot do anything if a late payment is accurately listed, it is better to know what your credit report has to say about you and be prepared with an answer.
2- Even insurance uses special credit scores that could be based on your credit history. Want good insurance rates and premiums? Better have a good credit report.
3- The interest rate that you pay on long term loans like home loans and auto loans take your score in to consideration. A credit score uses the information on the credit report. Check your report to make sure that the information reported is correct and accurate. Mistakes and errors have known to occur while reporting.
4- Even employers and landlords have started to look at your reports. Employers want to know that you are a responsible and debt free employee. Landlords want to know your payment history so they know you will pay them on time. Got late payments in the past? Unsettled debts? Check your report and see if you can pay off old debts before you start flashing your credit report around.
5- More and more people check your credit report. Apparently utility companies and even cable TV companies like to get a peek at your report before offering you a package deal. Don't want to end up making advance down payments for any and all services? Check your report and see what it has to say about you.
All this should convince you to check your report at least once a year from all the 3 credit bureaus. What remains is you can access it for free. Learn how to get a free credit report.
Presented by Anuje Cross, writing for http://www.crediaid.com/, a resource for credit education and aid.