Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get A Check Up!

It is that time of year again to get a check up: on your credit report.

There are three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, each of these reporting agencies must give you an annual report. But, you have to ask for them

Don’t Get Fooled

There is a lot of money being made by companies that will sell you a credit report. Watch out, if they start asking you for a credit card number, you are NOT at the free site.

Go to AnnualCreditReport’s web site. From there, you can get started. Once you have requested the report, some might want to sell you a FICO score as an add on. Just say no.

What to do with the Information

Your credit report is your credit reputation. You want to make sure that it is accurate. For example, this year, a Walmart credit card has mysteriously appeared on my report. It wasn’t there last year.

I used an online dispute form. According to the FTC, they have 30 days to prove that this is mine.  I know it’s not mine, and I even called the GEMB, who had absolutely no record of me in their system.

Make sure it is right.

How often?

You can order 1 report from each of the agencies once a year. There is nothing stopping you from ordering all of them at once, however, I recommend doing this once every four months.

That way, you are checking your credit report all year round.

Enjoy the free benefit courtesy of the FTC.

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