Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Important Financial Information

Beginning last Thursday, New York residents could order once a year a free copy of their credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can request a free report from all three companies at the same time or stagger your requests, getting a free report from one of the bureaus every four months.

So I requested a credit report from Experian. Man, am I glad I did. While every single one of my past addresses was listed on the report, a bogus address had managed to sneak in there. There were some invalid variations on my name. Most disturbing was that Experian got my birthdate of all things wrong. I knew there was a reason it's advised that you check your credit reports for errors.

On the topic of credit and personal finance, the Motley Fool reports that one of the most common types of identity theft involves the opening of a credit card account in someone else's name. In the spirit of that advice, I decided to opt out of pre-approved credit card offers, which can be stolen and used.

  • Request free credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers at www.optoutprescreen.com.
  • For more fun, get onto the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov.

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