Sunday, February 18, 2007

Credit record and free credit report

Everybody should check their credit record at least once a year, and I am no exception. Even if you have no big debt problems, it is always possible that mistakes might be made and it can take time to clear them up. Even though my non-tax debts were discharged in bankruptcy back in 2005, I've been a little hesitant to even look at my credit record. I had a "warrant" on my record due to my back New York state (and city) taxes, and had been waiting for that to clear. It was a simple technicality and no sheriff was out looking to arrest me, but it was in fact a formal record. I did pay off New York back in August, but since they said it could take 90 days for the credit record to update, I had another convenient excuse.

It has been six months since that August tax payoff, so I should go ahead and see that my record has been properly updated. The good news is that my record is clean enough that I was able to get three new credit cards. I have no near-term interest in buying a house, so I really have no credit needs that would cause me to worry about my credit record. Still, it is one of those housekeeping details that I need to attend to soon. Maybe after I finish getting all of my income and expense records together for my accountant to do my income taxes.

My understanding is that we are each entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the major credit bureaus, but I have never requested my reports. I think it can be done easily online via AnnualCreditReport.com, but I need to check into it some more. The FTC has a web page that describes the program. When they announced the full rollout of the program they had this warning:

The only authorized Web site for the program is www.annualcreditreport.com. Some Web sites offer a supposedly "free" service that converts to one that requires a fee after a trial period ends. Some bogus Web sites have "free" in their name; others misspell the name of the official Web site, hoping consumers' typing errors will lead them to Web sites that try to sell things or collect personal information. To avoid mistyping the name, click on the annual credit report link on the FTC's website (www.ftc.gov).

So, watch out for the scam artists.

-- Jack Krupansky

1 Comments:

At 8:44 AM EST , Blogger ALEISH said...

It is important to monitor your credit report in order to prevent errors on your credit report. You will save yourself a lot of problems or unpleasant surprises when you have to get that credit card or if you’re considering buying a home. You will also be aware of any potential problems that may stop the credit grantor from approving you for the credit you seek.

 

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