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Extension News: Free weekly monitoring of your credit report extended through April 20, 2022

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Emily Hines

Human Sciences Regional Extension Agent Emily Hines.

Identity theft has been a rising concern and an issue that many Americans have faced over the years.

COVID-19 has resulted in an increase of identity theft and scams. The three main credit bureaus have recognized the challenge that citizens are faced with during this season of unfamiliar circumstances.

Monitoring your credit report has been one action that individuals take to ensure that their identity has not been stolen. Those that steal identities use personal information for illegal purposes such as to open accounts in the victim’s name, gain access to bank accounts and credit card accounts, among other illegal activities.

Initially, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion were offering individuals access to their free credit report weekly through April 20. If you were unaware of this great opportunity, there is good news! They have extended that offer through April 20, 2022. We are all entitled to a free credit report from each of the three main credit bureaus each year, but they have stepped up and are offering this service during this time.

Individuals may visit www.annualcreditreport.com to request these free credit reports weekly.

A credit report does not come with a score, but it does allow you to see all the accounts that are open in your name.  Evaluate the report closely to ensure that there are not any inaccuracies. Keep in mind that all companies do not report to all three credit reporting agencies, therefore they may not have the same exact information.

Individuals are encouraged to take advantage of this generous offer. Request your free credit reports weekly through April 20, 2022. Advantages to monitoring your credit reports are to ensure you are not a victim of identity theft and this will also keep you aware of your credit health.

Individuals may need to build credit, rebuild credit, or just maintain good credit. Regardless of your specific situation, this is a great opportunity to help protect yourself, and get and remain on the right track towards good credit health.

For more information about this topic or other financial resource management or workforce development, please contact Emily Hines, Human Sciences Regional Extension Agent, at 205-757-5393 or email eah0047@aces.edu.