The Survival Podcast Forum

Finance and Economics => The Money Board => Topic started by: DrGonzo on September 24, 2008, 11:45:34 PM

Title: When was the last time you checked your credit report?
Post by: DrGonzo on September 24, 2008, 11:45:34 PM
I'm not very well versed in financial matters, but I do know this: you can check your credit report for free.  The big three credit agencies basically own you, and what they put on your credit report affects your credit score, your ability to get a loan, rent an apartment, buy a house, etc.  I personally believe that credit is a cancer and debt is a curse, but most of us have some sort of personal debt, be it credit cards, a car loan, mortgage, and/or student loan.  So when was the last time you checked your credit report?  I printed my reports from the big three (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and I discovered on one of them that I had an outstanding charge from an old bank account that got sent to collections, but it was so small ($30) that they never bothered to try to collect it from me.  So there it sat, an unpaid debt in collections, messing up my credit score.  I try to print my reports at least once a year to get a good picture of where I'm at financially, what's still owed, and what's been removed.  If you've never done it, it can be an eye opening experience (it's pretty much your whole LIFE on there!).  If Visa, MasterCard and those other snakes can look at it, why don't you? 

TransUnion (http://www.transunion.com/)
Equifax (http://www.equifax.com/home/)
Experian (http://www.experian.com/)

Hopefully by this time next year my credit cards will be paid off and never used again.  That will be a beautiful day, and one step closer to living the life I want. 
Title: Re: When was the last time you checked your credit report?
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on September 27, 2008, 01:30:42 AM
Every year, I use the means you've posted.

I don't use credit cards.  The only things I have financed are my house & my Jeep.  The Jeep will be payed off in November, maybe sooner if I decide to.

There are very few things I'm willing to go into debt for.  Land would be the only thing at this point, maybe a new used car in the next couple of years.  I plan on driving my Jeep forever but my wife will eventually want another car probably.  If I can't afford to pay cash then I don't buy. 

I'm fortunate that we both work the same hours at the same place, we don't have kids & we live extremely close to all the things we need.  There's really no need for another vehicle. 

Quote
I personally believe that credit is a cancer and debt is a curse
Me too brother. 

When I checked mine this year I had closed accounts from credit cards I'd never owned.  My father & I have similar names & they were his, I still have not managed to get them removed.  The credit companies are perfectly willing to stick things on the reports that don't belong to the owner, but try & get them to remove it.  It's a nightmare.  Near as I can tell, they all believe that if it's in the database it must be true.
Title: Re: When was the last time you checked your credit report?
Post by: Allerion on October 06, 2008, 07:48:44 PM
www.annualcreditreport.com is the official site for your free credit reports by the way.  The others that spam you with ads all require you to sign up for some free trial that will eventually attempt to bill or just plain bill you for some BS service.  Just a quickie to save you some hassle. :)

I'm a Dave Ramsey zero.  I'm 38 and all 3 of my credit reports are dead blank.  I have no debt and never intend to borrow a dime.
If anyone knows of some sort of alternative to credit reports for job background checks, insurance rates, etc I'd love to know how to get some sort of "I have money" rating.  :)  It kills me that credit reporting companies can make money off your personal information and that they do such a phenomenally bad job at it.  When I first saw my credit reports they all had multiple false entries including some accounts that preceded my birth.  I see that as akin to selling say...medical records that don't even have the sex correct on a quarter of the files.  Anyway, enough complaining. 

An additional tip to eliminate prescreened credit offers that put you at risk of becoming an identity theft victim:
You can stop these from being sent to you by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.
Full information on this program is available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre17.shtm

Hope that this is useful. :)
Title: Re: When was the last time you checked your credit report?
Post by: Stein on October 27, 2008, 01:58:10 PM
My brother's credit file was merged with mine and it almost cost us our house.  His SSN was "only one number off" mine.  WTF?  Shouldn't they be looking only for perfect matches?

My file showed two addresses, to jobs (one in WA and one in WA DC), etc.

It also had many, many open accounts from my bad with money days that I needed to go through and close.

Now, it is pretty simple as our only debt is our house.  I think we will end up putting a freeze on both our files.

+1 for opting out, it saved us a ton of junk mail - optoutprescreen.com I believe was what I used.  I sent in the letter and opted out forever.