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by Brad Wajnman
If you’ve ever made any large purchases that have involved borrowing some or all of the total amount, then you already know how essential having a good credit score can be.
Not only does your credit score determine your ability to obtain a loan and the terms in which that loan is offered, but these days insurance companies and even employers are using credit scores in evaluating their ongoing interactions with you.
Even if you know that your credit is “fine” and you keep your balances low and always make your payments on time, it’s always a good idea to check your credit score at least once a year.
‘Cause the fact is, mistakes happen, identities are stolen, and as a result, your credit report could suffer without you being aware of it.
Inaccurate information on a credit report is pretty common these days and unfortunately the burden is on you to monitor, verify if information is true and correct any mistakes, not on the credit reporting agencies.
Like me, you’ve probably seen some of the “free credit report” advertisements on TV (ya know the ones with the cheesy jingles), but you trust your instincts that tell you that “Nothing is truly free.”
There’s always a catch, right?
Of course, the government will give you a “free” credit report, but the catch is you can only get one per year.
With all the other the “free credit report” websites out there, you have to sign up for a trial period on their credit monitoring service, which can be as short as ten days.
And if you forget to cancel, they hit you with a $15 to $30 monthly fee. It’s a sneaky marketing tactic, but it works.
One way you can get your credit report for free (without committing to a trial membership) is through the government’s website www.annualcreditreport.com.
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, each consumer is entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) once per year.
To insure continuous monitoring on your own, many personal finance websites suggest that you rotate between a few different paid credit score websites and order one report every four months.
And of course, if you’re getting ready to apply for a large loan, like a mortgage or an auto loan, and you’re unsure about your current credit history, it’s probably prudent to purchase your credit reports from at least one, if not all three, of the big credit monitoring bureaus.
However, if you want to be able to access your credit reporting more frequently and still do it for free, then you’ll want to check out the truly worthwhile option I stumbled across that allows you to get your credit information and scores any time you want at absolutely no cost.
In fact, you don’t ever have to enter any of your credit card information, so there’s no way that they can bill you for anything.
The website is completely advertiser-supported, so there’s never a fee to the consumer for any of their services.
Frequent monitoring can be extremely satisfying, especially if you’re working hard to improve your credit from a low score, or if you’re planning to take out a large loan and want to be sure you can get the best possible interest rate.
So if you’re serious about cleaning up your financial situation and making sure your credit score is as high as it can possibly be, this free resource is one of the best places I’ve found so far on the web to help you accomplish that.
NOTE: The above is a preface of one of several key resources, vendors, or programs that Barry Goss and Brad Wajnman — respectively, the Wealth Vault Managing Editor and Research Director — revealed to our paid-up members on Friday, September 28th. To get the full review of this particular resource, either login, or become a member
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