Latest Articles

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.

See Your Credit Score Now

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

17.4 Million Identity Theft Victims

Posted on 2015-09-30 09:00:57

A recently released Justice Department report indicates there were 17.4 million identity theft victims in 2014. How were these victims targeted? The vast majority (86%) were targeted for credit card and bank account fraud. Woman at the sea • 8.6 million had their credit card information compromised. • 8.1 million had a bank account compromised. When identity theft involves credit cards, the goal is often to max out the accounts before the cardholder realizes the cards are missing or have been used fraudulently. But identity theft involving credit cards may go deeper. Criminals may hack into credit card accounts online, changing settings such as an address, and open new accounts. They can do this without physical possession of a credit card. The statistics reveal that about 7 percent of all U.S. residents over the age of 16 were victims of identity theft. The total financial loss for all victims was reported to be $15.4 billion. Very few identity theft victims—less than 10 percent—report the crime to the police. Yet notifying the police is an important step that can help in the resolution process.

See Your Credit Score in Seconds

Reduce Your Risk of Becoming an Identity Theft Victim No one is immune to identity theft, but it is possible to reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Here are the top 3 things you can do to protect your identity: 1. Keep your personal information safe. Remember that all an identity thief needs is one piece of critical information to steal your identity. Secure personal documents at home. Go paperless to the extent possible. When you dispose of documents with personal information, shred them first. 2. Limit the personal information revealed online. Information such as your birth date or where you live are valuable tools in the hands of an identity thief. Keep personal information private. 3. Keep tabs on your accounts. It only takes a few minutes to review your credit card and bank accounts weekly, yet this step can put an early stop to identity theft. A credit monitoring service can also help you keep tabs on new information reported on your credit report, also helping put an early stop to identity theft.

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.

See If Identity Theft Is Hurting Your Credit Score
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.

See Your Credit Score in Minutes
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

Protect Your Teen from Identity Theft with 5 Easy Steps

Posted on 2015-09-07 09:00:53

Identity theft is no stranger to the teen population. According to one study, children under the age of 18 are twice as likely to become identity theft victims as their parents. Teens make easy identity theft targets because they usually have clean credit reports (or none at all). Couple that with the typical teen’s trusting nature, and the stage is set for identity theft. Here are 5 steps that can help protect your teen from identity theft.Bubble Gum1. Keep bank information private. Teenagers may not see the harm in sharing personal information with friends. But sharing personal information is a dangerous habit to start. All it takes is one less-than-honest or desperate friend to open the door for identity theft. Encourage your teen not to hand over the keys to his identity by sharing personal information. 2. Limit exposure on social media. Most teens are on at least one social media network such as Facebook or Twitter. And most of them are friends with people they hardly know or don’t know at all. Once something is posted, control of that information is forever lost. Identity thieves hang out on social media sites looking for opportunities. Teach your teen to limit exposure on social media networks.

Check Your Credit Score Now

3. Keep a lean wallet. Your teen should never carry more than is necessary in his wallet. Old-fashioned pick-pocketing is still popular with identity thieves. Social Security numbers are especially valuable, and there is usually no reason for a teen to carry his Social Security card in his wallet. 4. Shred, shred, and shred some more. Help your teen get in the habit of shredding anything with personal information before getting rid of it. Unsolicited credit card offers contain a wealth of personal information that makes it easy for an identity thief to open credit in your teen’s name. Buy a shredder and use it to discard of anything with personal information. 5. Monitor your teen’s credit report. Once your child starts using credit, teach him the importance of knowing what is on his credit report. Review it periodically to check for accuracy. That’s often where evidence of identity theft first shows up. A credit monitoring service is an easy and effective way to keep tabs on your teen’s credit report.

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