When was the last time you checked your credit report? It’s free and you should make it a priority!

Guest blog by Andrew K. Johnson, Communications Manager, GreenPath Debt Solutions

A few months back, I started receiving credit card offers with an apartment number added to my street address.

I wondered how the incorrect address was turning up, so I logged on to www.annualcreditreport.com to see if it was listed incorrectly on my credit reports.

(As a bit of background, everyone in the United States is permitted, by law, a copy of their credit report for free, from each of the three reporting bureaus.)

Once I logged on and answered a few security questions, sure enough, when I pulled up my TransUnion credit report, my home address was listed incorrectly with the apartment number added.

I carefully reviewed my entire report to see if any new accounts were opened, or if there was any other unusual activity, which there was not.

I utilized the call-in number for disputes and after a few minutes, connected with an account coordinator, who made the change. She reminded me that it was up to me to contact the other reporting bureaus if the change was on the other reports. Well, as time has a way of getting away from me, I thanked her and went on my way.

Fast forward to last week, when I received another credit card application with the same apartment number on it as before.

Now, I do have a valid excuse of waiting to contact the other remaining bureaus: I wanted to wait a few months between pulling the reports from the other bureaus, so I could monitor ongoing activity through the rest of the year.

I felt pretty confident that the incorrect address was a glitch and not someone trying to open credit in my name, as my first credit report was solid with no suspicious activity.

Seeing a few months had passed since pulling my TransUnion report, I logged back in to www.annualcreditreport.com and this time pulled my Equifax credit report. As before, my listed address included the same apartment number. I reviewed the report carefully and saw no suspicious activity, so I hit the “dispute” button and changed my address by deleting the apartment number (and I updated my employment history, which was outdated). I hit submit and then had to send them proof of identification, as well as a utility bill with the correct address listed via fax (or snail mail).

Next month, I will pull my Experian credit report to see if the incorrect address is listed there and make the necessary changes. That way, come 2013, I hopefully will have all my information updated on all three credit reports.

Bottom line, by taking an hour of time to review my credit report, I found some errors that were easily corrected.

When was the last time you checked your credit report?

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