Thought for Today ~ Free Credit Reports

There's a certain commercial on tv that really peeps me off. It's set up as a consumer information piece to let people know about the new laws regarding your right to obtain your credit report for free (this is excellent info to have!)

However, the commercial goes on to advertise a website in conjunction with this information that is not affiliated with the government policy, nor is it a free, no strings attached website (this is the part that peeps me off!) Consumer beware!

So, what can I do to combat creatively designed false advertisement? Why give you the real low-down, of course. Power is in the knowledge, and here at we believe in POWER MOMS! is the free, no strings attached website set up for obtaining your credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Now, it's a good thing to know what your credit report looks like and what your credit score is, but what do you do with this information and what should you be looking for?

The key areas to check for when viewing your credit report are:

Past due accounts or collection activities. If you have a past due account, see what you can do to remedy the account and clear up this ding against your credit rating. If you have collections activity, verify that it's legit, see what you can do to remedy the account, or if it is not legit, work with the credit reporting agency to remove the information or add a notion/explanation on your report regarding the circumstances/nature of why the debt remains outstanding.

Open accounts that should be closed. If you've closed a credit card account or loan account and it still appears in active status on your credit report, work with the company to change the status of the account. Caring excessive debt can affect your crediting rating, so it's best to ensure debt that is paid in full or closed not be counted against you.

Accounts that do not belong to you. If you spot an account on your record that you know does not belong to you, act immediately! Visit the FTC National Resource for Identity Theft to find out how to handle the matter.

You'll find additional information and details to help with your credit report savvy on the FTC and AnnualCreditReports websites.

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