Goin’ Gangsta? Or just trying to goad editors and English teachers to pay close attention?

Good Advice Award - Check Yo Self, Before You Wreck Yo Self - Ice Cube

In celebration of the upcoming 20th anniversary of  the 1993 Ice Cube #1 hit single “Check Yo Self” Techlife honors the legendary rapper with a “Good Advice Award.”  Little did Ice Cube know the lyrical genius of that eight word phrase would still apply today. It works extremely well for your credit history. (Did he just segue from Ice Cube to credit history? He better make his point fast. He’s losing me.)

A friend of Techlife recently complained that she had been taken in by a free credit check scam. She filled in some information and the next thing she knew she had a charge she couldn’t reverse on her credit card and even worse it was recurring. She was able to immediately stop any future charges, but she was already down more than $40. With ads on television using snappy musical refrains to urge you to check your credit score for free (read the link carefully) it seems so easy. But those ads cost money, they aren’t Public Service Announcements, so I am carefully skirting giving them any publicity in this syndicated column.

Let’s go back to Ice Cube, his advice is sound. If you don’t check yo self (regularly) you run the risk of finding your credit history a wreck when you need to buy a car, house or get a loan. Here’s they key, your credit score is the summation of your credit history. Your credit history is where you should spend your time and today I am going to tell you how you can check your credit history for free three times a year (six if you are married.)

How to Check Yo Credit History For Free

Step 1: Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

The ONLY official site created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These are the three major players who keep your credit history.

Step 2: Select state and fill in the online form.

The form asks for the typical credit application information. This is used to verify your identity.

Step 3: THE MOST IMPORTANT – Only select ONE of the three credit reporting companies.

You only get one free credit history every 12 months per company. So by selecting a different company every 4 months you get to view an ongoing credit history to correct any issues.

Step 4: Put three annually repeating dates in your calendar one for each company’s report.

This ensures you will remember to go and check yo self.

Optional Step 5: If you are married, your spouse is also offered the same option, so set up your spouse on an alternating calendar.

Basically your family’s credit history can be reviewed every two months with this method to give you a very accurate understanding of your family’s credit history.

But what about my score?

Are you a bank? Are you giving yourself a loan? Don’t worry about the number, focus on doing the things to protect your history and keep it clean.  The score is a tool used by marketers and preys on the fear many people have about their credit. To be clear AnnualCreditReport.com does not provide your credit score. Even they understand the data underneath is what’s important.  AnnualCreditReport.com exists thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act). It may not have been Ice Cube’s intention 20 years ago but even he doesn’t want you to wreck yo self.