Free Christian Consumer Credit Reports
Free Christian consumer credit reports are available from all three major reporting bureaus by writing, calling or requesting one over the Internet. A free consumer credit report is provided to anyone, who requests a copy from the three major credit bureaus, one time from each bureau in a 12-month period. However, the person's score will not be included unless the person purchases it. Because they cost nothing and because so many lenders rely on the information, people should take advantage of this service to make sure their financial transactions are being reported accurately.
Finding out how a person's finances are being reported will help people stay on top of their them in order to ensure accuracy. Free consumer credit reports will provide information to each person based upon history, which also will enable them to check for errors. Writing a letter to the bureau, or using a dispute form provided by them can correct errors on report. After a person disputes an error the bureau performs an investigation by contacting the creditor involved. If the creditor doesn't respond, then the item can be omitted from the individual's report. If the creditor verifies the information then the disputed item will stay on the report. Therefore, it is a good idea for people who are disputing information to provide documentation along with the letter of dispute to prove the questionable item. When the dispute is settled by the bureau the person affected may add a statement to their report stating their side.
Identity theft has become an increasingly larger concern. Obtaining a free consumer credit report can help people identify if identity theft or fraud has happened to them. Warning signs might include new accounts that have been opened of which one is unaware or larger purchases unauthorized by the individual. Furthermore, there are credit monitoring services that advertise free consumer credit reports. Many have stipulations on receiving a 30-day trial period free including free reporting as well as a score. After the 30-day trial period the credit card used on the site will be billed a certain amount each month for continued monitoring. According to these sites if the customer cancels the account before the end of the trial period they will not be billed.
Because so many financial transactions are done by credit, it is important for them to stay on top of their records. Anyone can be proactive in this area by taking the time to write or go online and ask for their free consumer credit report. Then, they should look it over carefully and compare the bureau's history with their own records. If necessary, take time to dispute errors and perform follow-up to ensure a clean record with higher scores. Insuring that a financial history is accurate is good financial stewardship and people should seek to "honour the Lord with thy substance" (Proverbs 3:9).
Free credit bureau reports are available to the public because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act amendment. This act states that all three of the major credit reporting bureaus - Equifax, Experian and Trans Union - must provide a free credit bureau report once every year to consumers who request it. This document provides information to consumers who may be unaware of what is in their financial profile and provides an accountability measure to reporting agencies. Using the information that is recorded can provide the consumer insight to the view that lenders have of them when applying for new loans, as well as allow them to understand the importance to take more control of how their financial matters are handled in the future.
There are many reasons to request this personalized information from one of these agencies. The most obvious reason is, of course, in case of errors accumulated in a consumer's credit history. It has been estimated that approximately 40% of the information can be inaccurate, so it is important to take advantage of receiving free credit bureau reports every year. The information for credit history is gleaned from many sources and will be reflected in all manner of dealings. Sources such as banks, businesses, employers, apartment renters, charge card companies and others that one does business with, provide these agencies with information about their business dealings with everyone. This, in turn, is reported in these records that are used to decide major deals from extending financial assistance to credibility as a renter of an apartment.
When comparing the three reports, they will not be identical in information or score. The three agencies can receive differing information depending on which sources report to which agency. This can account for some discrepancy at times between the three free agencies reports that are requested. Each free credit bureau report can also be different because of inaccuracies reported from sources as well as items that have been resolved but have not been credited to the report.
In order to make sure that one's financial record is accurate, request a free credit bureau report from each agency each year. There, one will see the same information in free credit bureau reports that any lenders, employers and other sources will see that access one's financial history. Keeping a financial record up to date and in good standing is important in receiving lower rate loans, sometimes getting hired for a job and in many other business dealings that require a good financial record. "Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright." (Psalm 33:1)
Free Christian Credit HelpFree credit help is available through several nonprofit organizations whose advertisements on the Internet promise to solve money problems and have clients debt-free in twelve to thirty-six months. The usual method used by companies offering assistance is to consolidate all debt so debtors have one monthly payment instead of many. This means going through a lending institution or bank for a loan to pay off the creditors. The company offering assistance will usually negotiate a lower interest rate as well. At the same time, the debtor is required by the free credit help company to cut up all his or her credit cards and agree not to add to his or her indebtedness while the loan is being paid off. Debt assistance services sometimes come in the form of negotiations by the company with each of the client's creditors to lower or eliminate the interest on the debt, and agree to a lower payoff number. In this case, the free credit help firm then collects from the client and distributes payments among the creditors, while taking a percentage for itself; thus making the service not free at all. Beware if this last scenario is presented.
Among the methods suggested by debt assistance services is the home equity loan. A home equity loan allows homeowners to take the equity in their home to pay off bills. The only drawback of this plan is that if they sell the house before that loan is paid back, the balance must be paid before any funds can be received from the sale. Since cardholders are not required by the free credit helps company to dispose of credit cards with this plan, it may not keep them out of debt for long. Some card companies are offering to assist with debt consolidation at a fixed interest rate, which may help, but it isn't the best answer. Even if they start out with zero interest, that is limited to a few months, then interest is charged. This can be helpful to those who don't use other cards. Included in the services of debt assistance companies is counseling that will help keep clients out of debt in the future. Free credit help firms may be the people to consult early on to keep debt from getting out of hand. Budget planning is part of the counseling offered as well.
Those who are overextended should to provide their own free credit helps by calling creditors themselves and negotiating lower interest rates. Or they can contact a bank for a consolidation loan, and discard cards (except for one for emergency use). Not that the bank will make the loan for free, but borrowers are not paying someone else to arrange it for them. Reliable, free credit helps services are available through many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. Debtors need to pray about their struggle with borrowing and overspending. "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God" (Psalm 146:5).
A credit bureau (also called a credit reporting company) receives, maintains, and provides information about each consumer's financial history and creditworthiness. There are three companies that dominate the financial reporting landscape: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They have always operated completely separately until 2005 when all three bureaus announced a cooperative effort to coordinate their data encryption---a credit bureau agency commitment to safeguard consumer data and clarify reporting. Each one also participates on a new encryption task force to keep up with new technological methods. If a person has ever been the victim of identity theft, they can get a free financial report immediately. Each is working diligently to protect and prevent fraudulent use of the data.
Each office rates the creditworthiness of every consumer with a financial report. It begins with the first application for a charge account, a personal loan, insurance, or employment and continues for the rest of life. A record contains information about debts, payments, and any judgments against that person. The top three names to know are: Equifax Inc. which is headquartered in Atlanta but is a global network with employees in 12 countries in North America, Latin America and Europe; Experian, the largest credit bureau agency supporting clients in about 60 countries, and a subsidiary of GUS, a giant retail corporation; and TransUnion, based in Chicago, the smallest of the three. All make money every time a request comes in for data to be processed from its computers and used to verify personal, financial or property identity. All lending institutions use a credit bureau agency to verify creditworthiness. Deuteronomy 15:7 says "If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:"
Each department has provided a complex mathematical score that evaluates all the information in a file and discloses how likely a person is to default on any loan payment in the next few years. A high score from a credit bureau is good. Every 12 months, everyone is entitled to receive one free file disclosure from each credit bureau agency. A Christian can get them all at once to compare or spread out the reports to continually check for changes in rating and see a record of everyone who has gotten the consumer report, the contents of the revealed report, the information providers, and the information that the credit bureau has suppressed like insurance reviews and medical account information. Anyone can purchase their actual FICO score from each agency at any time. If a financial rating is based on faulty information, anyone can report a problem and even add a short explanation to the credit bureau if the problem is not resolved to personal satisfaction.