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Credit Report News

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 Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Free annual credit report site may be big moneymaker for credit bureaus The three nationwide credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union have opened up their free annual credit report website. West coast consumers can start getting free credit reports on December 1, 2004.

If the pre-opening is any any clue, the credit bureaus stand to profit handsomely by giving out "free credit reports". For example, if you click the Equifax link at the free credit report site, you get a full screen of offers, costing from $4.95 a month to $9.95 a month or from $9.00 one-time cost to $39.95 one-time cost. TransUnion and Experian also link to their for-pay sites.

For now though, and for consumers not on the West coast, the free annual credit report site just has links to each of the bureaus' websites. "Just 4.95, Just 29.95, Just 14.95, Just 6.95

The free annual credit report
9:29:43 AM    

 Wednesday, November 17, 2004
What's your credit score? It depends on who's asking! A credit score is a number that is computed for a lender based on the contents of your credit report. It estimates the likelihood that you'll repay your loan according to agreed-upon terms. Contrary to popular belief, your credit score might be different depending on the kind of credit your seeking. Your score when applying for an auto loan can be different from your score when applying for a mortgage, for example. Auto lenders have their own scores, insurance companies have their own scores. There are many different credit score models.

Different lenders care about different things, so credit bureaus make special credit scoring models just for lenders based on their preferences.

It makes sense. People in credit trouble often treat different debts differently. For example, you might be more likely to default on a credit card debt than an auto loan, because you'd risk getting your car repossessed with an auto loan default.
9:27:36 AM    

 Monday, November 08, 2004
Your credit report will be free, but what about the credit score? FACTA, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 requires the nationwide credit bureaus to provide you one free credit report per year. You can also see your credit score, but that will cost something. The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comments on just how much that should be. Here's the FTC press release.
1:45:08 PM    

 Friday, October 29, 2004
Has your credit card rate gone up for no reason? More often now, people are getting rate hike notices from credit card companies. Is it just the economy?

Interest rate trends might be part of the reason, but another unspoken reason might be your credit report. Credit card companies look at it regularly. If you are late on other payments, or if you are becoming "maxed-out" on other might find yourself being charged more in interest, even on cards for which you have a perfect payment record. Another possibility: Identity theft or errors on your credit report. Your rates could be increasing through no fault of your own! It pays to check your credit report regularly.
3:15:09 PM    

 Friday, October 15, 2004
Selling a home? Don't let the buyer wreck your credit report! When selling a home, the buyer's creative financing can get you in trouble if you don't do it right. A purchase "subject to the existing mortgage" means the mortgage is still in your name. The buyer can wreck your credit report if payments are not made on time.

The right way, if your mortgage allows it, is for the buyer to formally assume the mortgage. That way, you're off the hook. (Get professional advice on this, if you are unsure of the steps and implications!)
9:36:14 AM    

 Friday, October 08, 2004
How to close a credit card account (without damaging your credit report) How do you close a credit card account?

When you cancel a credit card, write a letter requesting that the card company close your account and that your credit report state "closed by consumer." By law, the credit-card issuer must honor your request. They will close your account, cancel your privileges and continue to send your monthly statements until you pay off your balance.
1:36:45 PM    

 Friday, October 01, 2004
Do Credit Reports Include Library Fines? If Largo Library in Florida sticks with the program, serious slackers could end up with a blemish on their credit report. Your local library might begin to use a similar policy.

If you return a book late, does that show on your credit report? Almost certainly, it will not. The concern (as it relates to your credit report) arises when you accumulate unpaid fines, and the library finally turns you over to a collection agency. Even then, the collection agency will probably wait 120 days after it receives accounts before informing credit bureaus about outstanding bills.
3:44:27 PM    

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