Friday, August 14, 2009

Really Free Credit Reports and Credit Score
United States government Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) mandated website providing free credit reports (not scores) from three major credit reporting agencies. Note, the website is operated by the reporting agencies, which often offer visitors other paid services or 30-day trial offers during the free reporting. If you do not want them, [politely] decline the offers.
Me: Credit reports checks out fine (i.e., no surprises, just old debts)
With targeted advertising,
Credit Karma (review) provides free proprietary credit scores (not credit reports, not FICO scores) and credit management tools. Its credit score are based on reports from TransUnion. The scores are on a scale of 300 to 850, same scale as FICO, but exact score are expected to slightly differ. The factors included in
makeup of the credit score remains similar but weighing algorithm is different.
Me: As expected, high revolving balance (debt) is indicated as culprit in lowering my credit score to average 723 to otherwise stellar credit history.

Additional Cautionary Tale:
Getting free credit reports or score will need you to verify your identity through social security number or other details. However, they will never ask you for your credit card number. If they do, they are likely duping you into enrolling one of their credit management offers that remains free for few days.

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