Posts Tagged ‘Guide’

Dealing with Split Credit Reports

Of course, you can go to Annual Credit to get your authorized free credit report. Still, there are differences between what you may find provided by the three different bureaus.

A Common Problem

On all three bureau reports the errors are difficult to find and reading them may seem very complicated if you are not used to doing so. Another common problem is this: Sometimes all of the consumer’s information in these said reports might be split because two names were used by the consumer.

Other splits may occur be because of common names. For example, a father and son with the same name may have split credit reports.

Other problems pertain to instant credit reports. Some accounts show up on one instant credit report while other accounts show up on another instant credit report. Sometimes as in the case of TransUnion, additional social security numbers are not shown on someone’s file.

Furthermore, additional names, addresses, and possible accounts that don’t belong appear on the report may also appear. The appropriate bureau should be contacted immediately especially in this case.

Possible Causes

There might be a variety of reasons that splits occur in credit reports. Some of the contributing factors may be one of these:

  • A result of consumers who frequently use and pull their personal instant credit report on a daily basis from monitoring services
  • Compilation of soft hits to the credit report
  • When a credit report file becomes too large

A Solution

In the case of split credit reports, Equifax gives the following advice to consumers: Add both scores and divide by two. The end result is the score to be used. However, it is necessary that you inform Equifax that the file needs to be re-merged.

In the case of mix-ups, the consumer must contact the appropriate with the proper I.D. to correct the situation. For instance, TransUnion may require a copy of his driver’s license to update the instant credit report.

How to Prevent Credit Report Fraud

While trying to seek your credit report there are a number of ways that unscrupulous thieves can take advantage of you. They will find any way to steal your identity and one way would be for them to offer fake “free credit report” opportunities.

The main way they get you is to require a credit card even if it is supposed to be a free trial. However, sometimes they try to cancel and put additional charges on top of the ones you already made.

They also then try to make it difficult for you to cancel your free trial. Then you are stuck paying probably for additional services you no longer even want.

Prevention Tips

Make sure you go to a recommended source to obtain a free credit report. Annual Credit is probably your best choice, but any comparable to this that are reputable would be fine.

If you must use a credit card because you think the additional credit monitoring services may help you then keep the following in mind:

  • Never sign up unless you know the server is secure. This will prevent third-party fraud.
  • Never give your credit card number to a company that you do not recognize. This will reduce risk of later becoming the victim of unauthorized charges.
  • Make sure you verify the name of the company providing credit report monitoring services. Verisign seal information is one way to do this, or you could check with the Better Business Bureau if you have any doubts.
  • Only fill out the information that is required. Be very careful about to whom you give your social security card, driver’s license, birth date, and other information.
  • Do not pay for any services you could get for free. For instance, you can have free fraud alerts placed on your annual credit report.

F.A.Q.’s of Free Credit Reports Fraud Alerts

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 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, 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.