You can now check your credit report for free every week. Here’s how

The three national credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and Transunion — are granting Americans free access to their credit reports every week through April 2021.

Monitoring credit reports will help people stay on top of their financial health amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Requests for a credit report should be sent through AnnualCreditReport.com, which the website says is the only platform authorized by federal law to provide such reports.

The process starts with filling out a form for information such as a person’s name, social security number, and address. Afterward, there is an option to choose between Equifax, Experian, and Transunion as the provider of the credit report. Lastly, there will be a final set of questions that are meant to protect people’s credit reports from being accessed by others.

Why should people monitor credit reports?

Credit reports include information on a person’s credit history and payment history, which lenders, creditors, and other businesses may use when approving requests for loans or credit — an option that many Americans may be considering as they struggle to pay their bills.

People should check their credit reports regularly to make sure that all the information is correct to avoid issues down the line. Any errors or mistakes should be immediately reported to the agency that provided the report. Credit reports also offer early signs of identity theft.

Federal law previously required Equifax, Experian, and Transunion to provide Americans a free credit report every 12 months if they ask for one. People should take advantage of the free weekly access to credit reports to help them handle the financial impact of the pandemic.

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