SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Checking your credit report is always a good idea, but during the pandemic it’s even more important. And for a few more months, there’s a free option to check your report each week.
“We’ve seen more online activity, people want to do more things online, so they don’t expose themselves to the virus,” Dawson Muska, the Financial Counseling Coordinator at Lutheran Social Services Center for Financial Resources said.
The shift to more online spending during the pandemic has opened people up to another growing problem.
“With us living in a digital age, identity theft is something we need to be aware of all the time,” Muska said. “We’ve only seen that ramped up with covid.”
It’s why the three credit bureaus have now made it even easier to keep track of your credit history and watch out for any potential fraud.
“You can pull from each of those bureaus once a year, that’s normal. Now with covid they actually accelerated that so that you can check your credit report once a week from each of those bureaus,” Muska said.
It’s a free opportunity available at the federally sponsored website, annualcreditreport.com through April.
“If you’re concerned about your credit, you have virtually unlimited access to your credit reports,” Muska said.
It’s a great tool to check for fraudulent activity but can also be used to help improve your credit.
“If you see your credit report and it’s not as high as you want it to be, you can pull your report and see what are those things that are keeping my credit score from being all that it could be,” Muska said. “If you have any concerns about your credit, do it now, because you can pull it once a week and you can keep really close track of it until April.”
Even when the weekly checks end after April, you can still check your credit once a year at all three bureaus; Muska suggests pulling from a bureau every four months to help keep a regular watch for identity theft.