Ask the Readers: How Often Do You Review Your Credit Report?

By Ashley Jacobs on 7 February 2012 (Updated 14 February 2012) 97 comments
Photo: Ginny

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Diane, Megan, and Therese for winning this week's contest!

Having a good credit score is an important part of your financial health. It is necessary to review your credit report from time to time to check on your credit health and make sure you have no discrepancies with your report. Some people review their credit report once a year while others do it more regularly.

How often do you review your credit report? Yearly? Monthly? When was the last time you reviewed your credit report?

Tell us how often you review your credit report and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, February 13th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after February 13th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Amanda

Once a year - yesterday, in fact.

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ron b.

I review my credit several times a year...

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Aaron L

not often enough. maybe once a year if I think about it.

Guest's picture

when i was first separated from my ex, I checked my credit report often because I found out he opened several accounts in my name. (about ten of them and went to town). I couldn't rub two nickels together in order to pay off the debt he'd put me in until almost five to seven years afterwards. Once I paid the debt down and the last time I checked my credit score which was about seven hundred (that was two years ago) I haven't checked since that. I'm awful for that and i should check more but I think with the stress of being horrified by what was originally there and now, I'm just reluctant to do so anymore, but I really need to do better.

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Christie

Usually once a year, but lately, I have been checking once every 4 months, since I can do the free check once a year with the 3 differing credit companies. It has been interesting to see what our credit rating is and how little it has changed over the course of the year. Hooray for good credit!

Guest's picture
Monica

I don't review my credit report. I don't want to spend money on it, I'm too afraid of hurting my credit by checking on it and I don't want to get a free credit report because I believe all of them are scams. I'm sure after this you guys will come out with a great post about if I should get it done and where but until then I won't be looking at it. The last time I looked at it was when we bought our house and I'm sure it can't be much worse from then.

Guest's picture
Carmen

Monica - you don't have to spend money. By law you're allowed to get it through https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ once a year. (You can even space them out like I do and check each one over the course of several months - as long as you don't check the same reporting agency twice). You're more likely to be hurting your credit score by not checking. If there are problems or errors, you'd never know.

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Diane

Carmen is correct. www.annualcreditreport.com is NOT a scam. It is a totally free service to get 1 report each from Equifax, Experian & Transunion every year. There is absolutely no damage to your credit score when you check it yourself. You have nothing to lose by doing this.

Guest's picture
Kaye

And you won't hurt your credit by checking it yourself through the link above. Seriously...no worries in doing this. Take the time, as you may save yourself some heartache! This is not to get a free credit score, this is just to look at your report.

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Monica

I'm a facebook follower!

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Monica

I tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/Monzarts/status/166881063598178304

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Jenn

Three times a year, about every four months. My husband and I both review our report from one of the three agencies. We have never had any discrepancies, so this is a great way to split up your free annual credit report throughout the year and keep track of everything.

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rm

I review every 6 months. I had to review it recently when my credit card was stolen.

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KC

Every 4 months. In my state, you get a free report each year from each agency. Staggering those throughout the year means "checking my credit report" takes less time (because it's 1/3 of the info to review), and gives me a chance to recognize fraudulent activity a little sooner (depending on which bureau the account is reported to).

I actually check my husband's as well, which I also stagger, so every 2 months I'm checking some sort of joint credit for us.

* Small note - a lot of people use Credit Karma to check their credit report, and I've seen a lot of blogs that mention it doesn't ding your credit. Not true. It shows up as a 3rd party query, but only on 1 of the bureaus (I forget if it was TransUnion or Experian). I didn't find this out until I was applying for a mortgage, and it cost me a couple of points.

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Elizabeth

I checked them all last April when I had a problem with an account, this year I am looking to break it up between the three in four month intervals.

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Guest

Yearly

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Alex J

I check it once every four months. I use my free credit reports spaced through the year. If I were looking to change insurance or to buy a home, I would check it before doing that as well.

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Nicholas

I try to check my credit report ever 4 months or so. That way I can stay on top of it and get any inaccuracies fixed. The last time I checked it was last month.

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B

At a time where I was trying to increase my credit score, I checked my report monthly. The thing is....it didn't change all that much. The changes I was looking for only occur over time. From my experience, checking credit reports/scores once every 6 months or annually is sufficient. Unless there are big events taking place in my financial life (i.e. paying off a hefty loan, opening a new account, trolling for a mortgage), checking my report any more could be a waste of time and money.

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K.

I never forget to review our credit reporst once a year because I do it at the same time as my federal and state taxes. :) It just makes sense to me!

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Virginia

I check all three once a year with the free credit reports we get from the government.

P.S. I liked you on Facebook! :o)

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Nicholas

I follow you and liked the article on facebook.

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NJJ

I always check my credit statements monthly and then my credit history yearly for any discrepancies :)

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Ashley

I check mine once a quarter.

Guest's picture

Three times a year - every four months I pull my free credit report from one of the agencies. I do them on a rotating basis so that I'm never completely out of the loop for an entire year. If I see something wrong on one of the reports, I plan to pull the other two at the same time, but that hasn't happened yet.

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Chi Wah

About three times a year, beginning of the year (January), middle of the year (June), and at the end of the year (December) - utilizing the three free credit reports.

Guest's picture

Tweet! https://twitter.com/#!/lilmsmoneybags/status/166937281318502400

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Karen

Not as often as I should!

Guest's picture

once a year!

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Shahar

About four times a year.

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Therese

Once a year.

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Jennifer

I check one of the 3 free credit reports available every four months, so I am getting all 3 once a year. That way I can spot any problems and get it resolved quickly.

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Jesse

I review them quarterly, that way I can still get my "three free" once a year. I've never had any issues with credit, which is a blessing, but I do keep an eye on the credit history just in case something were to come up.

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Carmen

I have reminders on Remember the Milk to check my credit report. I spaced them out so I might check Experian in May, Equifax in Sept and TransUnion in January. That way I don't have a lot to review at one time and I don't wait a full year before checking at least some information for problems.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I liked your page on Facebook

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KelR1

Like you on FB.

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KelR1

I plan on checking it once a year. I just did it for the first time last month.

Guest's picture
KelR1

Tweeted answer:

https://twitter.com/#!/KelRo1/status/166960092284059648

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James

I check CreditKarma.com monthly just to see if anything major is going on. I also pull the free reports on a rotating basis as often as I can. The combination seems to work well!

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Kerri

I spread my 3 free credit reports throughout the year.

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Eric

I check it every 4 months. You get three per year free, so I space them out to make sure I don't have a big lapse in between. I schedule it on my calendar so I don't forget.

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Kristy OT

Just once a year for me. I've never had any problems with it, so that seems safe.

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lostAnnfound

Once a year, although I do check at Credit Karma every couple of months. It's not an exact score, but if I see any drastic changes, up or down, I could then pull a true credit report early and see what is really going on.

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Jason Evans

Every quarter

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Eric

every year

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Selene Montgomery

I review my credit report at least once a year.

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Selene Montgomery

I Like you on Facebook as Selene Montgomery

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DARA GATES

I view the 3 free every year

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Happy Love

Usually once per year.

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Debra

I liked you on FB

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Debra

I admit that I haven't been very good with even checking my credit yearly. I have a goal to do that now!

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Becky

Once a year.

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Diane

I like WiseBread on facebook~

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Diane

I check my complete credit report about 5 times per year, 3 times (1 with each agency) for free with annualcreditreport.com. I also have an Equifax plan that gives me 2 additional credit reports per year, plus monthly access to my credit score, which I check each month. I'm a big believer in monitoring my credit carefully!

Guest's picture
Guest

I have yet to do that. Lately I've been giving thought to ordering one of the free reports. I think it's probably a wise idea for everyone.

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BRB

Every year for the most part.

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cwaltz

I haven't reviewed mine in ages. I would do so 6 months prior to a large purchase but otherwise I really don't see a need to review it.

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Diana

Maybe twice a year.

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Stacie

I am ashamed to say I've never checked my credit outside of making big purchases. I actually didn't realize it was something I should be doing until my husband found out his Social Security Number on his card wasn't his "real" number, so he has zero credit and never knew it until we went to purchase our first house! I have a goal this year of checking all three scores for both of us, and setting up a yearly schedule staggered out to review each.

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Lynda

once every 2 years... if i remember than i would do it once a year.

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Lynda

i like wisebread on fb

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Lynda

tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/oshkoshbgosh123/status/167093372782252032

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Kenda Keo

I check my "score" (Credit Karma) monthly or even weekly sometimes! Whenever it happens to drop (rarely...) or jump up, I do try to make sure I get my free credit report that I'm entitled to every year and just see if there is anything new on there.

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Guest

once a year!....its free, so why not!

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Kaye

Since we are entitled to one free credit report from each agency every year, I check mine three times a year. Once with Experian, three months later with TransUnion, and three months later with Equifax. That way I can watch it all year long, clear up any issues with any of the agencies at least once a year and spend $0 out of pocket doing it! =)

Guest's picture

I check it every six months or if I'm about to apply for credit. I want to make sure I have a clean credit report BEFORE heading in for a loan.

Guest's picture

Once every two years or so. I should do it annually but never manage to.

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Kim

CreditKeeper sends me an update each month on my credit scores or if there's any funny activity going on with it. They charge me $10 a month but it's worth it!!! :)

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Megan

Three times a year, once from each of the three credit bureaus.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Unfortunately, we only look at our probably once every few years unless we have a problem or loan we need. We really need to check it every 6 months, but I don't really think about it.

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Shiv R

I check mine once a year at the free credit score website

Guest's picture

I review my credit whenever I want with CreditSesame!

Guest's picture

I tweeted! https://twitter.com/#!/junethomemaker/status/167325716600467458

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I like WB on FB!

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Carson

Lately, I've checked my credit report about once per month using creditkarma.com

The thing I enjoy most is that creditkarma.com is free, easy, and extremely helpful with determining what habits are helping and/or harming my overall credit score. There are a lot of other useful tools on the site to help understand and manage your credit as well.

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Jeff

I usually do a free trial (and cancel) every couple of months, but thanks to data breaches at Sony and another company a few years back, I fortunately have free credit monitoring alerts for the next year. If I didn't have those, I would probably pay a monthly fee for the service just to make sure nothing unusual occurred.

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GM

I don't check mine.

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jake

i review at least once a year. sometimes twice

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NL

bi-annually. time to check again this year

Guest's picture
NL

Facebook liked

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TrishB

When it's free AND it happens to occur to me AND when I don't mind getting horribly, horribly depressed.

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MrsPrettyInPink

I check my credit reports through annualcreditreport.com pulling one every four months. I figure it's free and legit so why not!

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Bernie

I check it every 4 months through annualcreditreport.com each time choosing a different credit agency.

Guest's picture

MONTHLY!!!
It's been clean for 2 years now, but it was a horrible mess when I came back from overseas - all kinds of stuff on it that didn't belong to me and one heck of a fight to get it cleaned up! I was told it could revert anytime someone who was once on my credit report had problems again too - so I keep an eye on it.

"Liked" you on Facebook too

Guest's picture
Verl

We check ours about once a year. We're out of debt, except for the house, and don't have a lot to follow--except making sure someone hasn't been stealing our identity or something.

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Nicki

Once a year, or more only if I think something is wrong.

Guest's picture

I know the whole "Do one of the three free annual reports every fours months" thing. In theory, it's perfect! I just haven't done it beyond the first time.

Then, I keep thinking, "oh, I'll wait one more month until hubby's old debt is paid off, and then I'll check." And then something else comes up.

It's been over a year since I've checked anything. Definitely time to check!

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Francesca

I check my annual credit report three times a year, a different one from each of the major agencies every four months, so I last checked it in December.

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Kristina

Once a year.

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Elizabeth S.

I like (love) your facebook page!

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Elizabeth S.

I review it quarterly, spread out the three free ones a year to see one every four months and I also pay a subscription service that alerts me to any changes or things added on my report.

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Alissa

I check it at least twice per year.

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Deepti

I try to check it every year, but I always get an error because I have no credit history!

Guest's picture

I just checked my credit score this past week and am extremely happy with the score! But before you think I'm on top of my game, the last time I checked it was about three years ago. I was curious to see what my score was and learned that I had NONE, the probably reason being that I had no debt.

So I applied for a credit card and made sure to pay them all off (I probably paid too often. I would get an error on the bank website saying, "You must wait at least three days before paying your card off from the last time you paid.").

I'm going to be good and check on the score at least once a year now. I'm just glad to know I have one!

Guest's picture

You are entitled to receive one free credit report every 12 months from each of the major credit reporting bureaus and it is entirely up to you if you wish to order all three credit reports at the same time or order one now and the others later.

The advantage of ordering just one credit report now and others later, every four months for example, is that you can keep track of any changes or new information that may appear on your report. If you request yours from only one credit agency today you can still request from the other two at a later date. That way you will have access to your updated credit report every four months throughout the year.

Guest's picture
kristina

Yearly.