If you're an average consumer,you probably don't worry muchabout your credit report unless youget flagged when applying for a carloan or mortgage, an unlikely possibility.But experts advise that youcheck your report at least once a yearto look for suspicious activity, likecharge accounts opened withoutyour knowledge. These may be signsof identity theft. You should also pulla report before you apply for a loan,so you can see how the lender isgoing to look at you. It could helpyou to bargain for a lower interestrate. If you close out a creditcard account, ask the issuer to markthe account "closed by consumer,"so lenders don't think the card companyshut you down.