Ask Money

Another credit report

Chris Farrell Nov 9, 2009

Question: I have been requesting credit reports in tandem from one of the three agencies every fourth month. In this way, I receive a free report from each agency once a year. Would I jeopardize the free report privilege if my wife requested separate credit reports as well? Robert, Raleigh, NC

Answer: No, what you’re thinking about doing is fine. It’s a good idea for each of you to ask for your own free credit reports. (And to reiterate, the only place to apply for your free annual credit reports is from annualcreditreport.com. Jingles and ads notwithstanding, it’s the official site to help consumers get their free credit report.)

Of course, much of the financial information will be the same, but not all of it. The way the credit reporting bureaus work, married couples don’t share a credit report. You each get your own report. But the activity from your joint accounts will show up inn each.

I like what you’re doing. You’re getting a free report from one of the three agencies–Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion–every four months. Your wife can take a similar approach. But she could pick a different monthly pattern. For instance, let’s say your reports arrive in January, May, and September. Well, she could choose to get hers in March, June, and November. This way you’ll essentially have a running credit report tally for review covering much of the year.

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