1. Order your credit reports. You're entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, every year from AnnualCreditReport.com. Order at least one of them now. You can order all three, which gives you a better chance of catching and correcting errors in the reports, since they may differ from agency to agency. Or you can get the first one now, a second one in four months and a third in eight months as a way to monitor your credit for free during the year. Which ever way you go, you need to see what your credit history looks like. By the way, while the reports are free, your credit scores are not. Now's not the time to be cheap; pay to get your scores, which will also differ from agency to agency. Most lenders will focus on the middle number.