Updated: May 3, 2020
During COVID19 Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are offering free weekly on line credit reports through April 2021.
It is so very important to remain on top of our finances and our credit.
Check your credit. Make sure your credit reports are accurate to identify any potentially fraudulent activity and respond to it before it damages your credit. You should check your credit reports with all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Before the recent announcement you could get a free copy of your credit report from each bureau once every 12 months. Due to COVID19 Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are all offering free weekly on line credit reports available through AnnualCreditReport.com or https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action. D
Dispute information online. Any incorrect reporting can be reported to the credit source and should be made to the credit bureau where the information is reporting. The quickest way is to go directly to the dispute center for each of the credit bureaus.
Contact your service providers. If you don't think you can pay your utility, cell phone, cable or other monthly bills, reach out to your providers to see if they offer flexible payment options during this time.
Be vigilant about protecting your identity. Identity theft and related scams often spike during times of crisis. If you fear identity theft may occur or has occurred in your name during this time, you can place a free security freeze on your credit. You can lift the freeze at any time, for free.
Seek financial assistance, if necessary. Consider working with a certified credit counselor or debt management counselor. Free services are available through Operation Hope. To access these services, impacted individuals and small businesses are encouraged to call the HOPE Inside Disaster hotline at 1-888-388-HOPE (4673) or visit the HOPE Inside Disaster website https://operationhope.org/credit-and-money-management/to be connected with a financial disaster recovery specialist who will assess their situation and provide personalized coaching and assistance.
Make a budget and plan ahead. If you think the current conditions could impact your income or finances, develop your budget to help make sure you have enough funds to cover your expenses. Making your budget and sticking to will help when income and finances have unexpected events.
Sources: Annual Credit Report, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, Operation Hope Now.