Time to Check Your Credit Report: Experian

Four months ago, I suggested you request a free credit report from Equifax. In order to take full advantage of your free credit reports, I suggest that you request a free report every 4 months from the different credit agencies. This time I’m detailing the process to request a free credit report from Experian

Here are the steps necessary:

1. go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
2. select your state and click “request report”
3. fill in your personal information, security characters from picture, and click “continue”
4. select Experian and click “next”
5. click “next” again
6. enter last four digits of your social security number and click “submit”
7. choose extras if you want to pay, I never do, click “annual credit report” at the bottom in gray.
8. check “I have read and agree to Experian’s Terms & Conditions, etc” if you accept them, click “Submit”
9. answer the “identity verification” questions and click continue.
10. click “print report” in upper right section of page.
11. print report

If you find there is something amiss, contact that agency immediately. You can contact Experian at 866-397-3742. In 4 months I will remind you to get another report from TransUnion.

Time to Check Your TransUnion Credit Report

To protect yourself against identity theft, I recommend that you periodically check your credit reports. Every year you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). To take advantage of the free credit reports and monitor your credit in the shortest amount of intervals, I recommend getting your credit report once every four months, rotating this between the credit bureaus accordingly. About four months ago I wrote a blog about how to obtain your credit report from Experian. This time I will provide instructions on how to check your credit report from TransUnion. Here is the process:

1. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com
2. Select your state and click “request report”
3. Fill in your personal information, security characters from picture, and click “continue”
4. Select TransUnion and click “next”
5. Click “next” again
6. Once at the TransUnion site, follow the prompts (skip all the extras they try to sell you unless you want your credit score)
7. Answer the verification questions
8. View and print report

Check your report and contact the agency immediately if you find a problem. I will send you a note in 4 months to remind you to obtain your Equifax report.

Time to Check Your Credit Report: Experian

Four months ago, I suggested you request a free credit report from Equifax. In order to take full advantage of your free credit reports, I suggest that you request a free report every 4 months from the different credit agencies. This time I’m detailing the process to request a free credit report from Experian

Here are the steps necessary:

1. go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
2. select your state and click “request report”
3. fill in your personal information, security characters from picture, and click “continue”
4. select Experian and click “next”
5. click “next” again
6. enter last four digits of your social security number and click “submit”
7. choose extras if you want to pay, I never do, click “annual credit report” at the bottom in gray.
8. check “I have read and agree to Experian’s Terms & Conditions, etc” if you accept them, click “Submit”
9. answer the “identity verification” questions and click continue.
10. click “print report” in upper right section of page.
11. print report

If you find there is something amiss, contact that agency immediately. You can contact Experian at 866-397-3742. In 4 months I will remind you to get another report from TransUnion.

Smart E-Mail Practices

Protecting yourself from identity theft should be an ongoing process. That’s why I recommend checking your credit report once every four months for one of the major credit reporting bureaus and rotating between the bureaus through the year so you are able to detect any suspicious behavior in a timely manner.

Another area that is becoming increasingly hazardous is the use of e-mail. Last month Epsilon, a company that mines personal information of 235 million people encountered a security breach where the hackers gained access to names and e-mails of people along with the stores and financial institutions that these people do business with. Having this data enables the hackers to trick you with phishing e-mails that imitate the bank you use or the stores you shop in. Catching the consumer off guard, they respond by providing personal information and they have breached your identity.

What can you do to protect yourself? In a recent article in Yahoo finance, Jane Bryant Quinn provides eight tips to protect you from E-mail breach. I highly recommend taking the steps outlined in the article. Not only does the article recommend some of the traditional means of reducing the risk such as stopping direct mail and registering for the do not call list, it also offers prudent recommendations for the digital age that we live in.

In the end, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I hope this helps you in keeping your identity safe.

Time to Check Your Credit Report – TransUnion

Four months ago, I suggested you request a free credit report from Experian. In order to take full advantage of your free credit reports, I suggest that you request a free report every 4 months from the different credit agencies. This time I’m detailing the process to request a free credit report from TransUnion

Here are the steps necessary:

1. Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
2. Select your state and click “Request Report”
3. Fill in your personal information, security characters from picture, and click “Continue”
4. Select TransUnion and click “Next”
5. At TransUnion, you will be prompted to login and create a new account. Go ahead and do so.
6. Do not check the additional services, read the service agreement and click “Accept”
7. TransUnion will ask if you want reminder emails and newsletters – click “No Thanks”
8. TransUnion will ask if you want to your credit score; click “No Thanks, just my report”
9. You will see a receipt for your order and it should indicate the grand total costing -$0- click “Next”
10. Your reports should be available for viewing. Click “Display a printer friendly version” and print off a hard copy or save a PDF on your computer.

If you are married, make sure your spouse obtains his/her report

Time to Check Your Credit Report – Experian

Four months ago, I suggested you request a free credit report from Equifax. In order to take full advantage of your free credit reports, I suggest that you request a free report every 4 months from the different credit agencies. This time I’m detailing the process to request a free credit report from Experian

Here are the steps necessary:

Note: all of those cute ads you see on the television are for an unnecessary service (for most people at least). The link below is where the truly free credit reports can be obtained. Here are the steps necessary:

1. go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
2. select your state and click “request report”
3. fill in your personal information, security characters from picture, and click “continue”
4. select Experian and click “next”
5. click “next” again
6. enter last four digits of your social security number and click “submit”
7. choose extras if you want to pay, I never do, click “annual credit report” at the bottom in gray.
8. check “I have read and agree to Experian’s Terms & Conditions, etc” if you accept them, click “Submit”
9. answer the “identity verification” questions and click continue.
10. click “print report” in upper right section of page.
11. print report

If you find there is something amiss, contact that agency immediately. You can contact Experian at 866-397-3742. In 4 months I will remind you to get another report from TransUnion.