Posts Tagged ‘Free credit reports’
Free credit reports are almost as common as bread and peanut butter. The explosion of offers in this regard does not replace the possible need for paid monitoring services.
However, obtaining your free credit report is your right. This is your right as of an amendment of the Free Credit Reporting Act of 2003.
The main reason this new amendment of the FCRA was added by the government to ensure that all Americans have the right to stay informed. This gives people an opportunity to learn what the three credit reporting bureaus are saying about you.
All this is done without you having to pay for it. This has been done to help combat identity theft, since fraud and errors on credit reports are so common today.
The goal of this new government act is to ensure that Americans have the right to stay informed about what these three credit reporting bureaus say about then. Yet, at the same time it gives them the right to do so without having to pay for the information.
Obtaining your Records
You can request a free copy of your credit report within a 12 month period from one of the major financial bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
If you don’t really plan to subscribe to the service, it is important that you cancel the trial subscription, or else it would automatically be billed to your account. In that case, you should remember the termination date of your trial period.
You can also get your files at Annual Credit Report.com. This is one of the safest and most reliable locations to obtain your free documents. This site is actually regulated by the federal government and it also is monitored by the three credit bureaus.
You also can find these documents via other websites. You should make sure that it has the official saying that indicates you are not at the Annual Credit Report.com site.
You should be able to obtain your free credit report without any hassle. You can report a private monitoring service if they try to make you pay for these documents.
Now, you should beware that you do not get a free credit score, but only a free credit report. Therefore, you still have the chance of experiencing hassles in that way.
At the same time, you should make sure you take advantage of what you are entitled to and do not have to pay for up front. The only time you really have to pay is if you seek out additional credit alert and monitoring services other than the free ones provided by law.
Fraud alerts and free credit reports are requested all the time. Consumers who are in search of them now may have questions about these services offered to people.
What is the purpose of a free credit report?
People request them for a number of reasons. One of the main ones is to make sure they have no unauthorized purchases on their account. Another would be simply to monitor payment histories and to analyze in order to create a debt repayment plan.
How do I get a free credit report?
It can be obtained online at websites such as Annual Credit Report.com. It can also be requested by phone or by mail.
How long does it take to get a copy of my credit report?
You can usually get it almost instantly online. If you request it by phone or mail it takes up to 14 days to receive it.
What is a fraud alert?
It is a notice that is placed on your credit report to alert those to whom you owe money. This lets them as well as credit bureaus know that there may be unauthorized charges or unauthorized usage of your account.
How to I place a fraud alert on my credit report?
You can call one of three credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion) by telephone. You can also go to the websites of each one of these major credit bureaus.
Should I get an initial fraud alert or an extended fraud alert?
It depends upon the seriousness of your situation. The initial fraud alert stays on your file for 90 days and the extended fraud alert stays on your file for seven years.
What are my rights as a consumer seeking a free credit report or a fraud alert?
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report at least once every 12 months. Information is provided by Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. More info about this can be found at Annual Credit Report.com, the FTC website, and within Fair Credit Reporting Act documentation.
This of course is only a very small list of the concerns associated with protecting your identity and analyzing your financial history. You can seek answers to further questions if you call the appropriate customer service hotlines.
Furthermore, more detailed instructions are provided by more than one public service or legal service entity. This is to ensure your rights as a consumer are protected in case you notice a problem.
People who seek free credit reports instantly online also seek ways to further monitor their credit. That is the main purpose of credit repair software.
It also helps you with a variety of other tasks. For instance, it helps you with the following:
Obtain your credit score: This can help you further monitor your credit history more successfully. This is one tool you can use to monitory your credit repair progress.
Analyze your situation: As you view credit repair software it can help you set up a repayment schedule. The goal in the end is to meet a debtor or creditor half way.
Faster retrieval of your credit report: When using the best credit repair software it is easy to obtain your report with a click of the button.
Easier financial planning: Budgeting and calculating is much easier done with the right credit repair software. You can use this to achieve your goal of financial freedom, and achieve your goals much faster.
Deal with credit cards: Some systems help you track all unsecured debt payments. This is another way to help you get rid of unpaid balances much faster.
Negotiating debt easier: As you use the credit repair software to negotiate debt, the process of negotiating debt usually goes smoother. This along with the help of the right credit or budget counselor can do wonders for you.
It is up to you to seek out the credit repair software that suits your needs. This is the best way to take advantage of all the ways possible to improve your financial situation.
It will help you start that new business you have always wanted to start, or to buy that home. It also just helps you have a clear conscience in order to obtain better interest rates. It also just helps you feel more empowered that you can change your life.
There really are ways to get a free credit report instantly, but these supposed “free” credit reports could cost you. Among the list of confusing marketing tactics are those pertaining to the retrieval of your financial history and payment records-and credit score.
A list of the marketing tactics used by companies who offer supposedly free credit reports include as follows:
- Oftentimes companies will offer a free trial of a service that is designed to help you monitor your credit. However, it can be very easy to forget that the advertisers of these services asked you for your credit card number or PayPal account and you can run up a bill in no time.
- If you have signed up for a free trial, you might be paying a pretty penny for services you do not need when that trial is over. Sometimes you can expect to pay $20 to $30 for services you could otherwise get free according to the Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA).
- Consumers are entices by “free credit report” offers and then later are coaxed into signing up for services inconsistent with the regulation standards of the Better Business Bureau or Federal Trade Commission.
- In the worst-case scenario, people have signed up for what they thought was a legitimate place to get a free credit report. However, what ended up happening is they got ripped off.
This is not to say that credit-monitoring services do not offer worthwhile assistance to people. You should just watch out because you could end up paying for services that are unnecessary.
As you seek a free credit report that you can receive instantly, you may wonder what good it would do you. I mean, if this was a waste of your time why would you even want to do this?
It turns it does have some benefits to you. For one, it can help you catch any instances of credit card fraud or identity theft much quicker. It can also help you keep track of your financial history so you can maintain your accounts easier.
Different companies might provide different services than another. However, overall attributes of free credit reports include as follows:
Credit scores-This is a number from between 300 (the worst you can get) and 850. An average score is between about 600 to 700, while higher than that would range from excellent to perfect (A1 rating).
Your score an indicator of your total payment activity measured by a variety of factors. It often is compared to others, by way of a national average.
Report Cards-An optional service might include a certain letter grade of your credit. This measures your debt to income ration for which you might get a letter grade as if you were in school.
Monitoring/tracking services-If any changes are made you are alerted instantly. This is the beauty of signing on with a company to receive your free credit report instantly. Of course, the definition of free may pertain to a free trial. Still, at least for a time it is free.
Summaries-You might see a summary of your payment history. This often is an abbreviated service that outlines what you may observe in further detail if you were to sign on to paid services. The free version of your payment history often can tell you quite a bit, even if it is a summary.
Calculators-You can use these to evaluate certain credit trends and evaluate what effect making certain financial moves could have on your credit history.
With that, you may also be introduced to interest rate trends. This can help you make decisions about CDs and savings accounts, mortgages and home equities, unsecured debt (i.e. credit cards), and auto loans.
News reports-Maybe you have poor credit and are in need of a way to try to fix it. This can help you gain the tips and knowledge you need to better your situation. Maybe you will also gain knowledge about how to get financing after bankruptcy, repossession, etc.