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John Oliver Discredits Credit Reports on Last Week Tonight (Video)

You can get a free credit report once a year if you log on to www.annualcreditreport.com
A credit report is a summary that contains 1) personal information: your name, social security, current and previous addresses, DOB, telephone numbers, driver’s license, current and previous employers and your spouse’s name. 2) your credit history: name of all creditors and their account numbers, the kind of credit, total owe, total pay, current payments and how well you, the borrower has paid the account 3) public records: bankruptcies, judgments and tax liens 4) inquiries: lists everyone who has asked to see your credit report. Check your credit report at least once a year to make sure all these information is correct because this information is the basis of your credit score or FICO score (see below about FICO score).

Your source for a truly free credit report

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Beware… lots of websites that tout free reports try to rope you into paying for a credit-monitoring service. Skip them. If you go to www.annualcreditreport.com , three companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) will provide you with a free report once a year. If you want to, you can get one every four months by requesting a report from each one of these companies every quarter. That way you check for accuracy yourself every four months for free!!

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion began offering consumers nationwide the option of freezing their credit reports. With a security freeze, lenders and businesses cannot get access to your credit files or scores without your authorization. This means they aren't likely to issue new credit. That in turn greatly reduces the chance that a thief will be able to get credit in your name and damage your credit profile. For details on security freeze laws, use Consumers Union's Guide to Security Freeze Protection at http://www.FinancialPrivacyNow.org. Consumers Union has compiled a detailed list of each state's law, including when and how you can lift the freeze. The site also provides direct links to the three credit bureaus' security freeze information. Just be sure to double-check with each bureau when placing a security freeze to make sure you are sending the right information. To implement a freeze, you will have to send a certified letter to each of the three major credit bureaus. When applying for a security freeze, you get a PIN (personal identification number) or password, which you will need to use to lift the freeze from your file. The security freeze will remain in place until you request that it be permanently removed or temporarily lifted for a specific time or for a particular creditor or company (for example, an employer or landlord wanting to check your credit history).

You can also go to www.defendyourdollars.org/topic/privacy for  instructions about putting a security freeze on your credit files.


To protect yourself from identity theft just freeze your credit file. When you freeze your file nobody (not even you) can use it to open a new account. You can lift the freeze temporarily if you want to apply for a mortgage, car loan or new credit card. To freeze your file you will have to notify all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). The procedures are different in each state, so find your state at www.consumerunion.org/securityfreeze.htm and follow the steps outlined. 


Credit Score Problems and How to Fix Them | Consumer Reports