Posted on 2014-10-02 09:00:07
You have worked hard to maintain good credit habits, and you’ve got the credit score to show for it. Do you need a credit monitoring service? Aren’t those just for people trying to dig themselves out of a bad credit history? Not at all.
A credit monitoring service can be just as useful to a consumer trying to maintain a good credit history. That’s because consumers have little to no control over what gets recorded on their credit reports. Here are 3 reasons everyone—even someone with good credit—should monitor his credit report:
1. The information in your credit report affects credit decisions from whether or not you get a loan to the terms of a loan. A higher interest rate can take an extra chunk out of your wallet every month.
2. Keeping an eye on your credit report can help guard against identity theft. Identity thieves often open new credit in a victim’s name, and most lenders report new accounts, as well as payment history, to the credit bureaus.
3. The information in your credit report is constantly changing. New information may be added daily. A squeaky clean credit report today could be hit by fraud, identity theft or an error tomorrow.
Posted on 2014-09-10 09:00:13
Mistakes happen. When they happen to your credit report, it’s time to take action. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that 1 in 20 Americans has a “meaningful” error on their credit report that should be corrected. Credit report errors can result in a lower credit score and can negatively impact a consumer’s ability to get credit at the best terms. Other entities that use your credit report or credit score to make decisions that affect you include utility companies, insurance companies, landlords and employers. Accuracy matters! Although the credit bureaus (also known as a credit reporting agencies) and the information provider (the company that provided the information to the bureau) are responsible for correcting credit report errors, it is up to the consumer to bring an error to their attention. Know your credit score in minutes. Report Errors to the Credit Bureau Report credit report errors in writing to the credit bureau that is hosting the 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. Unless the claim is deemed frivolous, the credit bureau must investigate within 30 days. They must forward the information in your claim to the information provider. The information provider 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. 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. At your request, the credit bureau must send a copy of your revised credit report to anyone who received your report within the past six months. If the investigation is not in your favor, you can add a statement to your credit report that will be included with future reports. Report Errors to the Information Provider Although credit bureaus will forward information regarding your claim to the information provider, it is recommended that you also contact the information provider directly. Your credit report should include contact details for the information provider. Include copies (not originals) of documents to support your claim. Explain your side of the story and why you think there is a mistake. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Report 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 can help you maintain an accurate credit report by alerting you whenever there are significant changes to your credit report.
Posted on 2014-09-03 09:00:23
College students, beware. Identity thieves know your vulnerability! Studies show you are five times more likely to become an identity theft victim than anyone else. What makes college students such easy targets? Probably foremost is indifference. College students simply don’t see themselves as being at risk of identity theft. Because they don’t see the risk, they don’t take precautions to minimize their risk. Understand that Identity thieves use both high tech and low tech schemes to get the personal information they need to commit identity theft. They will look for the weak link, whether that is an unlocked dorm room or an unprotected smartphone. Here are six tips to help college students minimize their risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Check your credit score now! Guard your personal information. Don’t become robotic about handing over your personal information—especially your Social Security number—anytime someone asks for it. Turn the tables. Ask why it is needed. If you don’t get a good answer, don’t hand it over. Go paperless as much as possible. Identity thieves try to intercept credit cards and statements in the mail. Going paperless can help minimize your identity footprint. Consider a post office box over a campus mailbox that may not be as secure. Keep tabs on your financial statements. Check your financial accounts frequently with more than a cursory glance. If something is amiss, the sooner you catch it, the better you are able to minimize damage. Use common sense online. Don’t conduct personal business over unsecured WiFi connections. Do your homework before using peer-to-peer file sharing. Some will expose your computer to unauthorized access. Don’t over share on social media sites. Chances are good you are “friends” with people you don’t even know. Use a paper shredder. Don’t be careless about tossing documents—even credit card solicitations. With just a few pieces of key information, it’s easy for an identity thief to create a new identity. Shred, shred, shred! Consider a credit monitoring service. With so many responsibilities to manage, you may find the nominal fee for a credit monitoring service like MyFreeScoreNow to be well worth it. For less than the cost of a few lattes each month, you can rest assured knowing your credit report is being monitored around the clock, and you will be alerted when there are changes you should be aware of. A trial membership comes with a free credit score and credit report.
Posted on 2014-08-27 09:00:38
Some consumers are obsessed with their credit score. That’s not all bad. After all, your credit score can have a big impact on your life and your wallet. Credit scores are used to make quick yes/no decisions on credit applications. They are used to determine the interest rate you will pay on a loan. They are used by employers to make hiring decisions. They are used by landlords to make rental decisions. The bottom line is: Credit scores do matter! The mistake many consumers make is to focus solely on the number. Many consumers don’t know there are hundreds of scoring models in use today. Even FICO has dozens of scoring models for different purposes. Different scoring models could score the same credit file differently. To add to the confusion, different score ranges are used. A credit score of 700 on a scale of 350 to 850 is better than a credit score of 700 on a scale of 400 to 930. See your credit score now! To add more confusion, consumers will rarely get a credit score that uses the same scoring model as a lender uses. Lenders often use industry-specific credit score models. An auto loan company, for example, maybe more interested in how you have handled past auto loans than in whether you have been late on a credit card payment. Consumers usually receive an “educational” credit score that might be broader in scope. The important thing is to look at what your credit score is telling you. When you receive a credit score, you will usually be showed how it ranks on the scale being used. You will likely also be given specific factors that are affecting your credit score for better or wore. Take note! That’s where you can make changes that can help your credit score go up instead of down. Accuracy Matters It’s important to understand is that credit scores are calculated based on the information in your credit report. As the saying goes, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” If your credit report has mistakes—and many do—your credit score may not be an accurate reflection of your credit history. It is important to maintain an accurate credit report, and that requires checking your credit report frequently or using a credit monitoring service such as MyFreeScoreNow to alert you when there are significant changes in your credit report. You are the only one who can recognize mistakes or fraud.
Posted on 2014-07-18 09:00:36
Your credit report is a snapshot of your credit profile. It documents your credit history and your current credit standing. Specifically, your credit report will indicate how you have handled past credit obligations, how much credit is currently available to you and your current outstanding debt. Why is that such a big deal? It’s a big deal because: • Lenders review your credit report to help decide if you are a good credit risk. • Prospective employers may review your credit report to help make a hiring decision. • Landlords use credit reports it to decide whether or not to offer a lease. • Utility companies may review your credit report to decide how much of a deposit to require. When did you last check your credit score? There are others, but this should help you to understand why your credit report is so important. Yet—as astounding as it sounds—studies show that nearly one in four persons has never looked at his credit report. Never. That is, arguably, one of the worst mistakes you can make. Why? Because credit report errors are so common, and they can affect your credit score. When it comes to your credit report, what you don’t know can hurt you. A one-time peak is a good start, but not enough. Information is constantly being added to your credit report by lenders and others. What if you check your credit report today, and then an error or fraud shows up? That’s where a credit monitoring service can help. A credit monitoring service checks your credit report daily and alerts you whenever something important changes. It’s an easy way to avoid surprises on your credit report—surprises you don’t want to find out about when you apply for new credit. Credit Monitoring Can Help Detect Identity Theft There’s another benefit to a credit monitoring service. It can help you proactively detect identity theft. No one is immune to the threat of identity theft. It has been the number one consumer complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission every year since 2000. Some experts agree that credit monitoring is an effective way to protect yourself from identity theft. MyFreeScoreNow has been ranked as one of the Top 5 credit monitoring services in 2013, an honor we worked hard to attain. With a free trial membership you will receive your credit score—instantly—and your current credit report. Check it for accuracy, then let us do the work of staying on top of it.