What Families in Financial Difficulty Should Know about Credit Reports and Credit Scores

This is an excellent article by the National Consumer Law Center that explains essential information about credit reports and credit scores. What Is a Credit Report? Your credit report is a record of how you have borrowed and repaid debts. Almost every adult  American has a credit file with each of the three major national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Many but not all creditors report each month electronically to one or more of the credit bureaus the status of each of their accounts. Your credit report is a record of the history and description of the status of...

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Consumers Should Avoid Credit Repair Organizations

Consumers Should Avoid Credit Repair Organizations Consumers are being bombarded with ads by credit repair organizations (CROs). Consumers are well advised to not contract for their services. Consumers who have inaccurate information on their credit reports should send their own disputes by letter or online to the credit bureaus. Consumers’ own disputes are far more likely to induce the bureaus to correct the inaccurate information than dispute letters generated by a CRO. CROs’ dispute letters are typically computer generated and in one-size fits all in form. Some I’ve seen are not comprehensible. Many CROs do not even send the consumer...

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The Truth About 10 Common Credit Report Myths

The Truth About 10 Common Credit Report Myths Here are some of the most common myths concerning credit reports. 1) I haven’t done anything wrong so my credit reports must be OK. Your credit reports may have errors that affect your credit standing even if you did nothing to cause the errors. By some estimates, 70% of credit reports have errors. The errors may be lowering your credit score, which will mean you may have to pay a higher interest rate on credit. Morale to this story is to periodically download your credit reports and check for errors. If you...

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Credit Monitoring Services Are Not Worth the Cost

Credit monitoring services advertise heavily in the media. For a monthly fee, they promise to alert you of any adverse changes in your credit reports. They are a waste of money for the vast majority of consumers. This is Liz Weston’s conclusion as she reports on the MSNBC Money site. There are many reasons they are not worth the costs. Number One–they lie. They advertise free credit scores, but the credit monitoring they are selling is not free. Consumers often sign up for and only later realize they agreed to make monthly payments when the bills start coming in. Some...

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