Latest credit monitoring articles

Take Charge of Your Credit Report

Posted on 2015-12-09 09:00:25

Winter girlIn a perfect world everyone would have a completely accurate credit report. But, unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. The reality is that mistakes on credit reports happen rather frequently. The worst mistake may be the one you don’t know about, the one that could be causing you to pay high interest rates or larger down payments. The bottom line is no one is more responsible for checking the accuracy of the information in your credit report than you. You are the one who will know if something on your credit report is inaccurate. You are the one who can take action to correct errors on your credit report.

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How Information Gets on Your Credit Report The three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion--collect information from credit card companies, banks, landlords and other businesses and government agencies consumers deal with. They compile this information in individual credit reports, then sell the information to lenders and other entities to use to evaluate your creditworthiness. A lot of information is passed to the credit bureaus every day, and the potential for errors is high. How Inaccuracies Happen Most of the mistakes on a credit report could probably be traced back to human error. But sometimes the problem is identity theft or credit card fraud. Whether someone has stolen your credit card or merely obtained enough personal information about you to open new accounts, the information that is reported to the credit bureaus is accurate—it’s just not yours. Take Charge of Your Credit Report There is really no excuse for not knowing what is on your own credit report. You are the one who will recognize mistakes in your personal information. You are the one who can spot a new account that you didn’t open or fraudulent charges. If you check your credit report and find nothing amiss, congratulations! But don’t be foolish enough to think a mistake can’t show up tomorrow. MyFreeScoreNow’s credit monitoring service will keep daily tabs on your credit report and will alert you whenever there are significant changes you should personally verify. If you find mistakes, you can begin the process of disputing those items.Credit monitoring puts time on your side and gives you one less thing to think about as you go about the business of life. Give yourself the gift of credit monitoring in 2016.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

Mistakes on Your Credit Report

Posted on 2015-10-07 09:00:12

Your credit report tells the story of how you have and are handling credit obligations. The heart of your credit report is the listing of your credit accounts and loans with details about each—the type of account, when it was opened, your credit limit, the current balance and your payment history. Those you have accounts with update information regularly.Krakow, POLAND - august 6: Cyclists at stage 7 of Tour de Pologne bicycle race on August 6, 2011 in Krakow, Poland. TdP is part of prestigious UCI World Tour. Credit report mistakes are rather common and can result in a lower credit score. That can impact your access to credit at the best terms. But it doesn’t stop there. Other entities such as utility companies, insurance companies, landlords and employers use the information in your credit report—or the credit score calculated based on that information—to make decisions that can affect your life. Accuracy matters! When you spot an error on your credit report, it should be reported to the credit bureau that is listing the incorrect information.

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Report Errors to the Credit Bureau Report credit report errors in writing to the credit bureau that is listing inaccurate information. Your credit report will have contact details for each credit bureau. Include copies—not originals—of documents to support your claim. Explain your side of the story and why you think there is a mistake. The credit bureau must investigate within 30 days (unless your claim is frivolous). They must forward the information in your claim to the information provider who must investigate and report back to the credit bureau. If the information provider determines the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three national credit bureaus so the information can be corrected on your credit report with each credit bureau. When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must provide you with the results (in writing) and a free copy of your credit report if the dispute resulted in a change to the report. If the investigation is not in your favor, you can add a statement to your credit report that will be included with future reports. Credit Report Monitoring Since information on your credit report can change frequently, it is a good idea to review your credit report periodically. MyFreeScoreNow’s credit monitoring service will alert you whenever there are significant changes to your credit report. This early notification of potential errors can help you maintain the accurate credit report you deserve.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

5 Important Steps for Identity Theft Victims

Posted on 2015-09-24 16:33:12

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. It is a crime that strikes victims from all walks of life. It happens when someone uses your personal information to assume your identity for personal or financial gain. Even the most careful consumer can become an identity theft victim.Woman-retro-camera_new What sets identify theft apart from other crimes is that it is a silent attacker, often going undetected until an enormous amount of damage has been done. Criminals may go on spending sprees, open new accounts, apply for large loans, establish cell phone service and even file for bankruptcy or commit a crime using your personal information. Identity theft takes an enormous toll on its victims, many who have worked a lifetime to establish and maintain a good credit record. The best way to limit the damage done by identity theft is to act quickly. Here are 5 steps to take if you suspect you may be an identity theft victim.

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1. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Identity thieves will often try to open new credit using a stolen identity. By placing a fraud alert on your credit report, anyone who tries to view your report is alerted that you may be a victim of identity theft. An initial fraud alert is for 90 days and may be renewed. You only need to notify one credit bureau (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion); they are required to notify the other two. 2. Create an identity theft affidavit. This is used with a police report (Step 3) to help get fraudulent charges removed or to stop collection calls relating to your identity theft. An affidavit may be required to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report. Go to the FTC website to download the forms. 3. File a police report. Some police departments may not want to take a report, but be persistent. Take your identity theft affidavit with you. Request a copy of the report for your records. 4. Notify banks and creditors. Close any accounts you suspect may be compromised. If debit cards or checks have been stolen, close the accounts and put a stop payment on any missing checks. Remember to update any records using your accounts for automatic bill payment or direct deposits. 5. Monitor your credit report. It’s important to keep a close eye on your credit report. Fraud alerts help, but they are not foolproof. If you aren’t using a credit monitoring service, this would be a good time to give MyFreeScoreNow a try.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

5 Things That Won’t Hurt Your Credit Score

Posted on 2015-09-11 09:00:51

Dad plays with young childrenWe spend a lot of time talking about things that can hurt your credit score. This article focuses on 5 things that won’t help or hurt your credit score. 1. Income Whether you are working for minimum wage or are independently wealthy, your income does not directly affect your credit score. Your employer’s name may be recorded on your credit report, but your income is not. That said, your income could certainly affect how you pay your bills, and that affects your payment history which is a major factor in most credit scoring models. 2. Child Support or Alimony Do you pay child support or alimony? Don’t expect it to help or hurt your credit score unless you become delinquent. If you become delinquent, your account may be turned over to a collection agency. The collection agency may report the delinquency to the credit bureaus. But aside from that scenario, child support or alimony is unlikely to affect your credit score.

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3. Utilities and Cell Phone Payments Utility companies and cell phone companies may check your credit score before entering into an agreement with you, but they don’t provide your payment history to the credit bureaus. About the only time your payment history with a utility or cell phone company will affect your credit score is if your account becomes past due and is turned over to a collection agency. 4. Rent There are good reasons to pay your rent as agreed, but it is unlikely to help or hurt your credit score in most cases. The except would be landlords that report to Experian RentBureau. Payments reported this way could help your Experian credit score, but wouldn’t affect your credit score calculated using the data in your Equifax or TransUnion credit report. 5. Checking Your Own Credit Our favorite! You can check your own credit report as often as you want, and it will not affect your credit score one bit. We repeat: not one bit. This goes for using a credit monitoring service such as MyFreeScoreNow, too. Checking your own credit report is really the only want to ensure that the information used to calculate your credit score is accurate. If it’s been awhile since you reviewed your credit report, or if you are one of the many who has never taken that step, don’t put it off any longer. Check your credit report today. Too much is riding on it!
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

5 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Credit Score

Posted on 2015-07-15 09:00:30

Excited happy couple enjoying on a road tripYour credit score matters! A higher credit score can save you money each and every month through lower interest rates and better credit terms. It can add up to thousands of dollars over time—money that could be in your pocket instead of a creditor’s. Yet everyday people make mistakes that hurt their credit score. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid. 1. Late Payments Late payments will put you on the fast track to a low credit score. Not only will you have late fees to pay, that black mark on your credit report is a red flag to other creditors to beware. Always, always, always make your payments on time. If you are the forgetful type, set up a calendar reminder or automatic payments to ensure that your payments aren’t even a day late. 2. Charging Too Much Creditors like to see some leeway between your credit limits and the amount you actually charge. Most experts recommend you keep your balances below 30%; some recommend even lower. Just know that the ratio between how much you owe and your credit limit can account for about 30% of your credit score. Keep balances low for a better credit score.

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3. Opening Too Many New Accounts Don’t be a credit card collector. When your credit report starts showing an excessive number of inquiries from creditors wanting to review your credit report, it sounds an alarm, and your credit score could drop. Most credit score algorithms are somewhat forgiving for multiple inquiries for the same line of loan within a short period of time. But never apply for credit you don’t truly need. 4. Ignoring a Parking Ticket or Other Bill Don’t try to pull a fast one by not paying a parking ticket. It could come back to haunt you. Some cities send unpaid parking tickets to collection agencies. And that’s when it can show up on your credit report and cause your credit score to plummet. Some utility companies do the same thing. 5. Failure To Know What’s on Your Credit Report The information on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Mistakes can affect your credit score. It happens more often than you might think. Check your credit report for accuracy. Consider a credit monitoring service that will notify you whenever there are significant changes to your credit report that you should know about.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256