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      September 22, 2017

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How Often Should You Check Your Credit Report?

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Monitoring your credit score is essential in today's times. Not only is having a good credit score and credit history important in obtaining an affordable car loan or renting an apartment, it can determine whether you get a job and are able to put food on the table for your family. To further accentuate the importance of knowing your credit score, over $1 billion in identity theft occurs each year.

Proactively managing and monitoring your credit is the only way to protect yourself from being the next victim. Being in tune with your credit score and real time credit activity has never been more important. In the past few years, credit report and monitoring services have popped up and gained the business of millions of American people. However, not all credit report services are alike.

Continue reading below reviews

2017

Credit Report Reviews

5 stars
Equifax

EQUIFAXTopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Equifax is the leader in providing credit reporting and credit monitoring at a very fair price. They have 2 excellent credit reporting monitoring packages, one geared for individuals and the other geared for families. The customer service team leads the pack in providing friendly, knowledgeable help.
Read More... Visit
Site

3 stars
Free Credit Score

FREE CREDIT SCORE

We've all seen the commercials but how does Free Credit Score compare to the rest? As it turns out, only average at best. Without the catchy commercial jingle, this provider is missing some basic features of the higher ranked companies. Read More... Visit
Site

3 stars
My FICO

MY FICO

My FICO attempts to provide a full service approach to credit reports and monitoring but falls short in timeliness and sources. We didn't like that your credit is monitored weekly, compared with the daily effort the others provided. Read More... Visit
Site

2.5 stars
Credit Reporting

CREDIT REPORTING

Credit Reporting does a good job of pulling credit scores across all three major bureaus but does not provide any monitoring service. If you choose to regularly pull your report to monitor changes manually, you'll spend a fortune with Credit Reporting. Read More... Visit
Site

2 stars
Credit Report

CREDIT REPORT

Credit Report provides a bare bones website and minimal services. We were unimpressed with their tools and lack of customer service.
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Site

1 star
Free Score 360

FREE SCORE 360

Free Score 360 might look good but our research uncovered the truth. This site lures you in but fails to clearly tell you that you'll be charged a monthly fee every month going forward. Read More... Visit
Site

Continued from above

Some companies provide a wide list of credit related services to meet all your credit reporting needs, while others provide only bare basics with little or no customer assistance. Some companies offer insurance up to $1,000,000 and some provide very little to no coverage in the event that identity theft does occur.

If your goal is to improve your credit while effectively avoiding identity theft you'll want to choose a credit report service that specifically meets your needs. This includes assistance with disputing credit report errors, monitoring the progress of improving your credit, providing a knowledgeable staff to answer all your questions, offering insurance to pay for identity theft, and more.

With a number of credit report and monitoring services available today it's important to consider some key aspects of each company before making a decision. Some of these factors include:

  • Cost.  How does their price compare to their competition? Is the charge fair and reasonable and does it fit into your budget?. Do they charge monthly or is their one flat fee?
  • Credit Bureau Sources.  Where are the credit reports obtained from and what is being monitored for credit events? The most comprehensive credit reporting will include all three major credit bureaus including Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  • Resources.  In the event that you need to dispute a credit report item does the company offer easy to use online tools? Does the company offer resources to help improve your credit score, and does it provide assistance in obtaining the best rates for your major purchases?
  • Assistance.  Credit reports are complicated and laws change frequently. Does the service provider have a knowledgeable customer service team?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best credit report services available today. We hope these reviews help you find out your credit score and credit history right away!

Why Should You Check Your Credit Report?

Would you go for months without checking the balance of your bank account? Would you ignore reviewing your monthly credit card statement under the assumption that all the charges on it were valid? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you wouldn’t.

The same rule applies to your credit report. It should be reviewed at least once annually, and ideally 3 times a year or more, to make sure everything is in order.

What, exactly, is a credit report? It is the compilation of an individual’s financial history, from their first bank account to their latest credit card, it’s all in there. The history of where a person has taken out credit – as well as whether they’ve been able to pay on time or are chronically late with repaying their debts – is all included in one handy document. Financial brokers, credit card companies, potential employers and any creditor with whom you wish to do business has the right to view you credit history.

Credit history also is used to assign a credit score to each individual. The score is calculated through a mathematical algorithm, which pulls data from the credit report and generates a three-digit number. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Persons with scores over 700 are considered to be in good financial standing and rarely are turned down by creditors. They also are able to secure the best interest rates on loans.

Knowing your credit score, as well as how it can affect your everyday life, is a valuable tool for all consumers. Credit histories and credit scores are used to determine credit-worthiness by credit card companies, cell phone providers, utility companies and even landlords and insurance companies. Having a bad credit report can have lifelong consequences for the consumer.

Credit reports are issued through three major reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Each of the three agencies compiles its own report on individual consumers, and each report may vary slightly from the others.

There are many reasons why consumers should make a habit of viewing their credit reports:

  • Accuracy. While the three credit reporting agencies do their best to collect accurate information on each consumer, they are not infallible and can include incorrect data in your report. If there is another individual with a name similar to yours, it is possible for the credit agencies to confuse their data with yours, and erroneously include information about the other person in your report.
  • Identity Theft. Reviewing your credit report annually is a great way to make sure you are not the victim of identity theft. Credit reports contain accounts opened in your name using your social security number, address and date of birth. It is one of the best ways to find out if someone is using your information to open new accounts and run up debt.
  • Loan Worthiness. If you are about to attempt to secure a loan for a large purchase, such as a home or a car, it is a good idea to check your credit report prior to applying. Not only will it allow you to see what the lender is seeing prior to approving/rejecting your loan application, but it also will give you the opportunity to make sure all data is correct prior to someone else viewing it.

 

New York proposes cyber security rules for credit-reporting, warns banks after Equifax breach

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) - The New York Department of Financial Services on Monday responded to the Equifax cyber attack by proposing to extend its ground-breaking data protection rules to credit reporting firms, in an attempt to ...

Published:  Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:15:00 GMT



Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns: Monitor your credit report!

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday warned millions of Americans to scrupulously monitor their credit reports following a "very serious data breach" at Equifax. "We would really urge consumers to be very careful in monitoring their credit ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:51:00 GMT



How to Unfreeze Your Credit Report

In the aftermath of the Equifax breach, many experts and pundits are recommending Americans to freeze their credit reports. Freezing your credit report can be a good move to help protect yourself from someone stealing your information, opening accounts and ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:42:00 GMT



Letter to the editor: Credit-reporting services making money off Equifax data breach

The Equifax data breach is not only a nightmare for all of the people involved, it also has become a money-maker for the three major credit-reporting services. They all want your Social Security number and a credit card number to put a freeze on your credit.

Published:  Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:10:00 GMT



Clear collections from your credit report

Your credit score takes a hit if you fall behind on payments to a creditor, and again if an account is sent to the creditor's collection department or sold to a third-party collector. You may be able to repair some damage to your scores by resolving a ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:46:00 GMT



Report: Equifax hacked months earlier than previously admitted

The credit reporting agency learned about the breach five months earlier in March, Bloomberg reported, citing three sources familiar with the hack, but in a statement, the company denied that the computer breaches were related. One of Bloomberg's ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:03:00 GMT



Global Credit Insurance Market to Record High Demand by 2017 - 2022

The "Global Credit Insurance Market Research Report" is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Credit Insurance Market. The study offers an insight into current and future market trends, key drivers and restraints, market ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 23:36:00 GMT



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