Credit Report, Credit Check – Free Credit Score, Experian, credit reports free.#Credit #reports #free

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Your Experian Credit Score , updates available every 30 days

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Or if you would like to understand the factors affecting your credit score, get access to your Experian Credit Report more, you can do this with a 30-day trial* of CreditExpert.

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  • Receive personalised tips on how to improve your Experian Credit Score
  • Gain unlimited access to your Experian Credit Report
  • Use our UK-based call centre if you need guidance or have any concerns about your report, score or fraud
  • Use our web monitoring tool credit report alerts to protect your online identity from fraud
  • Receive support from a dedicated caseworker if you are a victim of fraud

How your Experian Credit Report Score can help you

Your Experian Credit Score is a straight forward way of showing how lenders may view you, based on information in your Experian Credit Report. The better your credit score the better your chances are of getting a credit card, a loan or even a mortgage, along with great rates for each. Your Experian Credit Report allows you to see the information lenders use when carrying out a credit check.

If you have a low score or there is room to improve, checking your credit report can help you see whether the information on it is correct and understand what could be affecting your score.

To find out your options for viewing your Experian Credit Score or Experian Credit Report, see which product is right for you.

Your personal details are in good hands

Experian takes data security very seriously and we are always reviewing and improving our measures to keep your information safe. Experian is unaffected by the recent Equifax data breach.

We have lots of resources to help you look after your personal details – here’s information on protecting yourself and spotting the warning signs of identity fraud.

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*A monthly fee of ВЈ14.99 applies after your free trial. You may cancel during your 30-day free trial without charge. New customers only. Free trial period starts on registration – further ID verification may be required to access full service which may take up to 5 days.

Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender in the provision of its credit cards and personal, car finance and guarantor loans matching services, meaning it will show you products offered by lenders and other brokers.

Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders and other brokers it does not cover the whole of the market, meaning other products may be available to you. CreditMatcher services are provided free however we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to. Information about the commission we receive from brokers for mortgages and secured loans can be found in our help section.

Eligibility Ratings are available for credit cards and personal loans only.

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CreditMatcher and CreditExpert are provided by Experian Ltd (Registered number 653331). Experian Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 738097). Experian Ltd is registered in England and Wales with registered office at The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ. The web monitoring feature and its alerts within CreditExpert is not FCA regulated activity.

Copyright 2017, Experian Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Rebuilding Credit: Credit Cards and CD, rebuilding credit.#Rebuilding #credit

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Rebuilding Credit: Credit Cards and CD/Savings Account Secured Loans

If you want to repair your credit, a good place to start is with a credit card especially after a bankruptcy. But that s not always possible. If your application for a credit card or regular loan gets declined, consider a bank or credit union loan secured by a certificate of deposit (CD) or savings account. By doing so, you can start building a positive credit history by making your loan payments on time every month.

Most people start working to improve their credit by taking out a credit card. You ll find two different types available:

  • Unsecured credit cards. This is the standard credit card used by most people. When you make purchases, you essentially borrow money from the credit card company and pay interest on the amount until you pay it back. Unsecured credit cards are riskier for the credit card company because if you don’t pay, the credit card company can’t do anything other than sue you for the balance. If you file for bankruptcy, unsecured credit card debts typically are discharged (wiped out). It s also relatively easy to get an unsecured credit card after completing bankruptcy. In fact, many people are surprised to find their mailboxes flooded with offers.
  • Secured Credit Cards.Secured credit cards are different because you must deposit money into a savings account to use the card, and the bank will only allow you to charge a percentage of your deposit. It s typical for a limit to be as low as 50% or as high as 120%. People who have bad or no credit, and individuals getting out of bankruptcy will have an easier time getting a secured credit card because they re less risky for the bank. The main benefit is that payments are reported to the credit bureaus without requiring the cardholder to incur more debt.

It s a good idea to research secured credit card offers before choosing one. Not only will the interest charged be high, but you ll want to find out how much you ll be charged for processing and application fees, as well as annual fees.

Other Options

Not everyone qualifies for a credit card. But fortunately, they aren t the only game in town. Here are a couple more ways to rebuild your credit:

  • CD/Savings account secured loans. Start by taking some money you ve saved and open a certificate of deposit (CD) or savings account. Then ask the credit union or bank to give you a loan against the money in your account. In exchange, you have no access to your money. You give your passbook to the bank, and the bank won t give you an ATM card for the account, so there s no risk to the bank if you fail to make the payments.
  • Personal Loans. If you can t find a credit union or bank that offers these types of loans, apply for a personal loan and offer either to get a cosigner or to secure it against some collateral you own (not your house).

Questions to Ask Before You Get the Account

No matter what kind of card or loan you get, be sure you know the following:

  • Does the credit union or bank report the payments to credit reporting agencies? The whole reason to take out the account is to repair your credit. If the credit union or bank doesn t report your payments to a credit reporting agency, it s not going to be an option that will help rebuild your credit.
  • What is the minimum deposit amount required? Some banks won t give you a loan unless you have a sizeable amount in an account; others will lend you money on $50. You ll want to find a credit union or bank that fits your budget.
  • What is the interest rate? The interest rate will likely be much higher than what people with good credit pay. It will usually also be higher than the interest you earn on the money you deposit with the bank which means you ll lose a little money on the transaction, but it can be worth it if you re determined to repair your credit.
  • What is the maximum amount you can borrow? On CD or passbook loans, credit unions and banks generally won t lend you 100% of what s in your account, but rather between 80% and 95%.
  • What is the repayment schedule? Credit unions and banks usually give you one to five years to repay the loan. Some banks have no minimum monthly repayment amount on passbook loans; you could pay nothing for nearly the entire loan period and then pay the whole balance in the last month. Although you can pay the loan back in only one or two payments, don t. Pay it off over at least 12 months, so that monthly installment payments appear in your credit file.

Make All Payments on Time

No matter what, it s imperative that you don t miss a loan payment. Otherwise, the bank will report the late or missed payment to a credit reporting agency, and your credit repair efforts will suffer a setback.


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CREDIT: Credit en ligne – Simulation et Demande de Credit, what is credit.#What #is #credit

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what is credit

What is credit

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    Credit Report, Credit Check – Free Credit Score, Experian, one free credit report per year.#One #free #credit #report #per #year

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    Your Experian Credit Score.

    Your Experian Credit Score , updates available every 30 days

    One free credit report per year

    Credit Cards

    One free credit report per year

    Loans

    One free credit report per year

    Your chances

    of approval †вЂ

    No card details needed if we can easily verify you

    If you would like a copy of your ВЈ2 statutory credit report order here

    We work with the UK s leading credit providers

    • One free credit report per year
    • One free credit report per year
    • One free credit report per year
    • One free credit report per year
    • One free credit report per year
    • One free credit report per year

    We can help you take the guesswork out of applying for Credit Cards Loans

    One free credit report per year

    Get your FREE Experian Credit Score

    One free credit report per year

    One free credit report per year

    Compare Credit Cards, Loans Mortgages

    One free credit report per year

    One free credit report per year

    Find out how likely you are to be accepted †вЂ

    Or if you would like to understand the factors affecting your credit score, get access to your Experian Credit Report more, you can do this with a 30-day trial* of CreditExpert.

    One free credit report per year

    • Receive personalised tips on how to improve your Experian Credit Score
    • Gain unlimited access to your Experian Credit Report
    • Use our UK-based call centre if you need guidance or have any concerns about your report, score or fraud
    • Use our web monitoring tool credit report alerts to protect your online identity from fraud
    • Receive support from a dedicated caseworker if you are a victim of fraud

    How your Experian Credit Report Score can help you

    Your Experian Credit Score is a straight forward way of showing how lenders may view you, based on information in your Experian Credit Report. The better your credit score the better your chances are of getting a credit card, a loan or even a mortgage, along with great rates for each. Your Experian Credit Report allows you to see the information lenders use when carrying out a credit check.

    If you have a low score or there is room to improve, checking your credit report can help you see whether the information on it is correct and understand what could be affecting your score.

    To find out your options for viewing your Experian Credit Score or Experian Credit Report, see which product is right for you.

    Your personal details are in good hands

    Experian takes data security very seriously and we are always reviewing and improving our measures to keep your information safe. Experian is unaffected by the recent Equifax data breach.

    We have lots of resources to help you look after your personal details – here’s information on protecting yourself and spotting the warning signs of identity fraud.

    One free credit report per year

    One free credit report per year One free credit report per year One free credit report per year One free credit report per year

    *A monthly fee of ВЈ14.99 applies after your free trial. You may cancel during your 30-day free trial without charge. New customers only. Free trial period starts on registration – further ID verification may be required to access full service which may take up to 5 days.

    Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender in the provision of its credit cards and personal, car finance and guarantor loans matching services, meaning it will show you products offered by lenders and other brokers.

    Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders and other brokers it does not cover the whole of the market, meaning other products may be available to you. CreditMatcher services are provided free however we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to. Information about the commission we receive from brokers for mortgages and secured loans can be found in our help section.

    Eligibility Ratings are available for credit cards and personal loans only.

    ‡‘Most trusted’ based on 61% of 1057 respondents, ICM Unlimited survey June 2017.

    CreditMatcher and CreditExpert are provided by Experian Ltd (Registered number 653331). Experian Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm reference number 738097). Experian Ltd is registered in England and Wales with registered office at The Sir John Peace Building, Experian Way, NG2 Business Park, Nottingham, NG80 1ZZ. The web monitoring feature and its alerts within CreditExpert is not FCA regulated activity.

    Copyright 2017, Experian Ltd. All rights reserved.

    One free credit report per year


    In News

    Credit Cards – Compare Best Card Offers & Apply Online, Bankrate, how can i apply for a credit card.#How #can #i #apply #for #a #credit #card

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    Compare partner credit card offers from our most

    Cash Back

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    How can i apply for a credit card

    When looking to get a credit card, there are a variety of things you should consider. If you want a rewards card to use frequently, you might not mind paying a $100 or $200 annual fee. You should also consider the regular APR (as opposed to the introductory rate) and the interest rate. A good interest rate is dependent on how you will use the card. For example, a 20% interest rate is fine if you plan on paying off the balance every month.

    It pays to ask these kinds of questions before you fill out the application form. Here are 9 questions you want answered before you sign on the dotted line.

    The “very first question” the consumer should ask is, “Why am I applying for this card? Why do I need this card?” says Bruce McClary, media director for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a nonprofit affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling

    Some positive reasons: The card has low or no fees, a lower interest rate or offers a rewards program that suits your spending habits. “It has to make sense, and it has to fit into your overall lifestyle,” McClary says.

    Do you pay off your credit card balances every month? If so, “you don’t care what the interest rate is because you won’t pay any,” says Ric Edelman, author of “The Truth About Money.” “But you care about the (annual) fee,” he says.

    If you run a balance, you want the lowest rate you can get, even if that comes with an annual fee.

    One clue to your usage: “Look at your past history,” says Edelman. “Because what you’ve done before is what you will be doing.”

    If you’re shopping for a card, chances are you’re comparing card terms. But if an issuer sends you an offer, it’s tempting to apply and see what you get.

    “It’s really difficult to pick one (in isolation),” says Kelly Rogers, chief development officer for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County and adjunct faculty at Chapman University. “If someone just shows you one car, how do you know if it’s the right car for you?”

    Her advice: Do a side-by-side comparison of several different cards before you apply.

    Don’t be afraid to plug the card name, “complaints” and “customer service” into your favorite search engine. “I go through and see who has the least amount of complaints and issues,” says Rogers.

    Some cards will give you a range of rates you could get, but often that window is pretty wide, says Nick Bourke, director of the Safe Credit Card Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Other cards may offer a specific rate (or terms) and either approve or reject you.

    If you’re operating totally in the dark, you have another option: Apply by phone and push for an answer on your rate and credit line before the account is opened.

    While there are no guarantees, sometimes you can get an answer, says Bourke.

    “I’ve actually done this myself,” he says, admitting “you do have to go pretty far in the process.”

    You may have to ask for the department that’s actually evaluating your application to get an answer, he says.

    “The thing that you want to do is when you’re talking to the person on the phone taking your application is you want to push them as hard as you can to get your APR and credit line,” Bourke says. Then, once you have the information and before the account is opened in your name, “you can say yes or no at that point,” he says.

    According to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, if a card offers a lower interest rate during an introductory period, the promotional rate has to last at least six months. While that introductory offer may be appealing, the regular rate is what you’re really buying.

    So find out when the introductory APR expires and what the new rate will be. You can find this information online in the terms and conditions for the card or you can ask a service representative.

    Another smart question: How long is that grace period? “Some cards start charging interest immediately,” says Edelman. A card can have different grace periods for balance transfers and cash advances than it does for purchases.

    You can find information about the grace period in the credit card offer, thanks to federal rules that took effect in 2010. Look for a summary table of rate and fee disclosures, which will include a statement that explains how to avoid paying interest.

    If you’re getting the card for points or rewards, this is one you definitely need to ask, says Josh Frank, senior researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending. Some issuers will revoke rewards if you’re late with a payment by even one day, he says.

    “A lot of times, the answer they will give you is that they can take away or reduce your rewards for any reason,” he says. While that’s true, the issuer will have a policy on revoking or reducing points, and that’s what you want to ask about, he says. Under what specific circumstances would they reduce or eliminate a customer’s points?

    In most cases, “this is one the customer service agent should know the answer to,” he says.

    Some card issuers use your purchase records to assess your ongoing creditworthiness.

    That means if you suddenly use your card to purchase retread tires, pay for a session with a marriage counselor or make a purchase at a market on a sketchy side of town, you could see your APR climb or your credit limit fall, says Frank. If you see this practice as an invasion of privacy, ask beforehand if the issuer does this, he says.

    How to phrase it: Can my transactions ever be used in rating my credit risk?

    And that’s one question the customer service representative “might not know the answer to,” says Frank. “You might want to ask them to transfer you to the credit department manager.”

    If you are guaranteeing a card account by co-signing for a college student, ask if you will be on the hook for the debt after the other party turns 21, says Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center.

    Many times, “there is nothing to prevent the issuers from saying you’re going to be guaranteeing this card 15 years from now — long after junior is out of college,” she says.

    In addition, find out exactly what has to be done to get you off the account. Are you free to complete those steps yourself? Or will you need the cooperation of someone who might not want you — and those charging privileges — to go away?

    Federal regulations limit your liability for unauthorized credit card charges to $50 if you report it within two business days. The longer you wait, the more you may lose. Many issuers cap losses at zero dollars, provided you follow a few rules. So find out how the card would handle charges you didn’t make, says McClary.

    Also, does the issuer monitor usage and shut down the card if it sees out-of-the-ordinary charges or spending locations? That feature can be great if you always use the card for the same types of purchases in the same geographic area, but cumbersome if you’re getting the card for travel.

    While it sounds counterproductive, you want to ask some detailed questions on how the issuer will treat you if you run into financial problems, says McClary.

    Will you lose points or benefits? Will you be hit with late fees or a penalty rate? Ask what those penalties are or look online at the terms and conditions for the card.

    Some issuers have programs to slash interest temporarily for customers who get behind, he says. Others don’t. So find out ahead of time what kind of programs the issuer offers that will help you rehabilitate your account and restore your original terms, McClary says.

    Ask about the “worst case scenario,” he says. “When do they consider an account to be charged off? And when do they send an account to a collection agency?”

    “It may be a little tough to get a hold of that information because it might not be readily available at the customer service level,” says McClary. “You may have to punch it up a level.”


    In News

    Three Credit Bureaus Agencies, the three credit reporting agencies.#The #three #credit #reporting #agencies

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    Information on the 3 National Credit Reporting Agencies or Credit Bureaus

    The 3 national credit reporting agencies in the United States are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Experian was formerly known as TRW. A fourth national credit reporting agency named Innovis exists, but does not currently seem to factor into decisions for denials of credit, insurance or employment. It is more in a development stage.

    To contact the 3 national credit reporting agencies:

    The three national credit agencies may be contacted directly at:

    Equifax

    TransUnion

    Experian

    Atlanta, GA 30374

    Chester, PA 19022

    These national credit agencies are for-profit companies owned by their shareholders. They are not government entities or funded by the government. There are also independent, non-national, local credit bureaus throughout the country that are generally affiliated with one of the 3 national credit reporting agencies. Local bureaus are sometimes for-profit companies and sometimes non-profit associations of lender/members in a particular geographical area.

    The 3 national credit reporting agencies are competitors of each other, and they do not normally share their credit information except in special cases. That is why it is important to order a credit report from all three.

    Credit agencies or bureaus gather their consumer credit information by soliciting creditors such as credit card companies, banks, and lenders to join their systems and contribute their credit experience on consumers to the systems. In return for submitting information to the systems, creditor members may use the system to obtain credit information on consumers to approve credit decisions or review existing consumer accounts.

    Credit agencies are generally regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is the Federal law generally covering consumer reporting agencies including credit reporting in this country. Individual states may also have their own versions of the law.

    Under Federal law credit reporting companies known as CRAs (consumer reporting agencies) have numerous responsibilities to protect consumers and their credit information. A Summary of the FCRA is at http://www.creditreporting.com/fair-credit-reporting-act/index.html .

    Opt Out Number For List Sales by the National Credit Reporting Agencies

    IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT OF 1996.

    The credit reporting industry has designated a single toll free number that will allow consumers to opt out of promotional mailing lists sold by credit reporting agencies. The system is an interactive voice mail that requests information necessary to opt out of such lists.

    Consumers should call (888) 5 OPT OUT and follow the voice prompt. Once the information is recorded, an e-mail is sent to the three bureaus daily and posted to consumer files. The number is available 24 hours a day.


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    3 Bureau Credit Reports and Scores from Experian, the three credit reporting agencies.#The #three #credit #reporting #agencies

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    3-Bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores 1

    One-time cost of $39.95

    1 Credit score calculated based on FICO Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO Score than FICO Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn More.

    Product features:

    3-bureau Credit Report

    See how you compare across all 3-bureau Credit Reports with views into your personal information, the accounts reported to each bureau, overall credit usage and debt summary, what hard inquiries there are, and if there are any collections or public records reported.

    3-bureau FICO Scores

    See what factors are impacting each of your 3-bureau FICO Scores, including payment history, recent credit card usage, your length of credit history, any derogatory items, and credit account types such as installment loans.

    Live customer support

    Get insight into the factors that may be impacting your credit risk level, and learn the details about the items that appear in your Experian Credit Report. Support is available toll-free 7 days a week.

    3-bureau credit resources

    How to Resolve Disputes with Credit Bureaus

    When you dispute information on your Credit Report, Experian contacts the company that reported the information and notifies them of your dispute.

    Debt Bureau Reports Not Part of Experian Credit Report

    Debit bureaus specialize in collecting information on accounts held at banking institutions, such as checking and savings accounts, and the information collected by debit bureaus do not appear in an Experian Credit Report.

    Do you have to place a fraud alert with each credit reporting company?

    When you request a fraud alert or security alert be added with any of the three major credit reporting companies, the company you contacted will notify the other two and alerts will be added with those agencies as well.

    Credit basics

    Why can Credit Scores be different for each of the 3 bureaus?

    If the scores vary based on the same scoring model, then Credit Report information could be different at each of the 3 bureaus. For example, one bureau may have 6 hard inquiries on its credit report, another may have 2, and the last bureau may have 4. Since the number of hard inquiries is a factor in calculating your Credit Score, this could produce different score numbers, even though it is based on the same scoring model.

    Why should I check all 3 bureau Credit Reports and Credit Scores?

    Information reported to each of the 3 bureaus can be different and the individual creditors furnishing data may also be different, meaning one creditor may only report to one or only two of the three bureaus. Lenders, such as mortgage companies are not required by law to report account information to each of the 3 bureaus. Checking each of your 3 Credit Reports gives you a comprehensive view so that you can easily identify differences that could impact your credit standing.

    Get your 3-bureau Credit Report and FICO Scores

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    FICO Scores are developed by Fair Isaac Corporation. The FICO Score provided by ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., also referred to as Experian Consumer Services (“ECS”), in Experian CreditWorks SM , Credit Tracker SM and/or your free Experian membership (as applicable) is based on FICO Score 8, unless otherwise noted. Many but not all lenders use FICO Score 8.

    In addition to the FICO Score 8, ECS may offer and provide other base or industry-specific FICO Scores (such as FICO Auto Scores and FICO Bankcard Scores). The other FICO Scores made available are calculated from versions of the base and industry-specific FICO Score models. There are many different credit scoring models that can give a different assessment of your credit rating and relative risk (risk of default) for the same credit report. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO Score than FICO Score 8 or such other base or industry-specific FICO Score, or another type of credit score altogether. Just remember that your credit rating is often the same even if the number is not.

    For some consumers, however, the credit rating of FICO Score 8 (or other FICO Score) could vary from the score used by your lender. The statements that “90% of top lenders use FICO Scores” and “FICO Scores are used in 90% of credit decisions” are based on a third-party study of all versions of FICO Scores sold to lenders, including but not limited to scores based on FICO Score 8. Base FICO Scores (including the FICO Score 8) range from 300 to 850. Industry-specific FICO Scores range from 250-900. Higher scores represent a greater likelihood that you’ll pay back your debts so you are viewed as being a lower credit risk to lenders. A lower FICO Score indicates to lenders that you may be a higher credit risk.

    There are three different major credit reporting agencies — the Experian credit bureau, TransUnion ® and Equifax ® — that maintain a record of your credit history known as your credit report. Your FICO Score is based on the information in your credit report at the time it is requested. Your credit report information can vary from agency to agency because some lenders report your credit history to only one or two of the agencies. So your FICO Score can vary if the information they have on file for you is different. Since the information in your report can change over time, your FICO Score may also change.


    In News

    Apply for a Visa – Credit Card Online, applying for a credit card.#Applying #for #a #credit #card

     - 

    Apply for a Visa Credit Card Online

    Applying for a credit card

    When you apply for a creditcard online, there are several things that are helpful to know. In this credit card debt article we’ll give you information on how to get the best credit card rate and how to do a credit card balance transfer.

    Interest Rates Can Be Raised Even If You Pay On Time

    As a credit card user, there are several things you should know about companies issuing creditcards . Number one is that even if you make your credit card payments on time each month, the credit card companies can raise your interest rate automatically if you’re late on payments elsewhere. This means that if you are late on another credit card payment, or the phone bill, the home loan, or simply because the bank thinks you have taken on too much debt, they can raise your interest rates. This is known as the “universal default” clause and is becoming a standard clause in credit card agreements. Banks think that if you are neglecting bills elsewhere they don’t want to risk not getting paid either.

    Which Are You?

    Here’s the credit card industry’s jargon for its customer categories:

    The Lowdown on Late Fees

    There is no limit on the amount a credit card company can charge a cardholder for being late on a payment, even if it’s an hour late. Before 1996, late fees ran $5 or $10. Then in 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court in Smiley vs. Citibank lifted the existing restrictions on late penalty fees, causing them to soar, reaching upwards of $30. Credit card companies have almost doubled their revenue from charges for late fees, over-the-limit fees, and fees for returned checks. It is possible these penalty fees could rise as high as $50.

    Read the Fine Print

    Always read the fine print on your credit card agreement. Tucked into the fine print that people so often ignore are provisions that can add up to hefty fees, penalties and rising interest rates. Below are some of the important sections of a typical contract

    • Spending Limit – The credit line may be increased, reduced, or canceled at any time.

    • the account is in default,
    • the company suspects fraud
    • late payment
    • bounced or unsigned check
    • copy of statement
    • payment by phone

    You can see all our offers. Choose one and apply for a Visa credit card online.


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    Credit Freeze vs Fraud Alert, Experian, credit alert.#Credit #alert

     - 

    What Is the Difference Between a Credit Freeze and Fraud Alert?

    Whenever there is a data breach, consumer fears are heightened and the Equifax breach, where highly sensitive personal information of over 143 million Americans was compromised, is one of those high-anxiety events.

    We have received many questions from consumers in the last week asking how they can protect themselves when their information is stolen in a data breach. Many of the questions are in the same vein:

    What can I set up to help protect my credit and will a fraud alert and credit monitoring be sufficient or do I need to freeze my credit report?

    What s right when your identity is stolen—a credit freeze or fraud alert? The answer depends on where you are in your life stage, your current credit situation and pure personal preference.

    Fraud Alert

    A fraud alert is a temporary, 90-day alert that is placed on your credit file. Also known as an initial security alert, a fraud alert will display on your credit file so that when a lender pulls your credit report, they will be alerted that you are potentially a victim of identity theft. That company can then take extra steps to validate your identity before opening a new account.

    A fraud alert is free at all three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Once you request a fraud alert at one company, your fraud alert will be automatically added at the other two companies. The fraud alert expires after 90 days, but can be renewed at the end of the 90-day period.

    You will not need an identity theft investigative report or any other documentation to initiate a 90 day fraud alert. It’s a simple process, and is a great alternative for those who want to be cautious, but not cut off their access to their credit report.

    Extended Fraud Alert

    An extended fraud alert is for people who have been victimized by identity theft and want to ensure that new accounts can’t be opened using their information. But, if managing a security (credit) freeze seems like more than you want to deal with, an extended fraud alert could be a valid option to consider.

    Initiating an extended fraud alert requires you to provide proof of your identity, as well as an investigative or incident report filed with your local police department or sheriff s office or with the Postal Inspection Service or Department of Motor Vehicles.

    An extended fraud alert lasts for seven years. If you decide you do not need the alert for the full seven years, you can remove the extended fraud alert.

    Security Freeze (Also Known as a Credit Freeze or File Freeze)

    A security freeze will prevent potential lenders from accessing your credit report. Your credit report will only be accessible by unfreezing the account. If you are planning on applying for new credit in the near future, or if you have a transaction in process—such as a mortgage application—you might consider postponing the security freeze. In order for credit to be granted, you will need to unfreeze your credit report, which requires a Personal Identification Number (PIN).

    With a security freeze, companies that rely on your credit report for decision making, such as banks, credit card companies and utility companies cannot pull a frozen credit report. Most of the time, this may result in the company not being able to extend credit because they will not have access to the essential data required to make an appropriate risk evaluation for extending credit.

    Other Considerations for a Security Freeze

    In addition to financial institutions, other types of companies use special reports that include credit report data to make decisions. For example, some employers use employment reports for background screening and tenant screeners use for credit reports rental properties. In order for these companies to get access to these reports, you will need to unfreeze your credit report.

    Fees and requirements for adding and removing a freeze vary by state, however fees are waived for victims of identity theft with a valid investigative report. Credit freezes also have to be initiated at each of the three major credit reporting agencies, and there may be a waiting period to unfreeze, so unfreeze at least three days before you apply for credit.

    Unfreezing Your Credit Report

    Unfreezing your credit report will require your PIN, and can be done permanently, for a specific time period or for a specific company or person. For example, if you want to apply for an auto loan through your credit report, you can unfreeze your report for just that credit union.

    If you want the ability to lock and unlock your Experian credit report on the fly, Experian CreditWorks SM or Experian IdentityWorks SM members can do that through a product benefit called Experian CreditLock.

    Company information for each of the credit reporting agencies is below.


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    Fraud Alerts – How to Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report, credit alert.#Credit #alert

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    Fraud Alerts – How to Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report

    If you think or suspect you are a victim of identity theft, or you know you are a victim of identity theft, you should place a fraud alert on your credit reports at all 3 bureaus, namely Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Generally a fraud alert includes a note on your credit report to the lender to call you before new accounts can be opened.

    Note, you may even want to put a credit freeze on your reports to be even more safe about preventing further damage to your credit.

    Fraud alerts primarily come in two varieties:

    Note there is also a third variety, not really fraud alert, but more of a warning, which are active duty military alerts. These may be placed for up to 1 year.

    I. To place an initial fraud alert, you contact one of the 3 credit bureaus to place the alert. By contacting one of the three bureaus, that bureau will contact the other two without your having to contact them yourself. You can contact the bureau online, by phone, or by mail.

    Atlanta, GA 30374

    Fullerton, CA 92834

    II. To place an Extended Fraud Alert, you must request the alert in writing. Equifax accepts the information by fax. Using the bureau request form may expedite matters somewhat. The bureau request forms also point out the supporting documents you must send with your request for an extended alert, including copies of identification documents and a copy your identity theft report filed with the police.

    Atlanta, GA 30348

    Fullerton, CA 92834

    Now before you file your Fraud Alert, take a look at these frequently asked questions:

    Q. Do I need to place my Initial Fraud Alert at all three credit bureaus?

    A. No, if you place your initial fraud alert at one bureau, it will notify the other two bureaus with the initial fraud alert information, such that you will end up with fraud alerts at all three bureaus.

    Q. If I file an Extended Fraud Alert at just one of the 3 bureaus, will the extended fraud alert be placed at all 3 bureaus?

    A. No. You should place your extended fraud alerts at all three bureaus directly and follow the instructions that they publish.

    For Experian, print and use their form at: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html – Follow instructions on their form and use the address on form.

    Q. How do I remove a fraud alert?

    A. To remove your fraud alert before its expiration date, you should send the removal request in writing to each credit bureau. However, TransUnion allows you to remove fraud alerts online once you have an account login.

    For Equifax, write to Customer Service – Equifax Information Services LLC, PO Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

    (for Equifax be sure to include your name, social security number, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and telephone number.)

    For Experian, print and use their form at: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html – Follow instructions on their form and use the address on form.

    Or write: TransUnion Fraud victim Assistance Dept., PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022. (for TransUnion, be sure to include your name, social security number, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and telephone number.)

    Q. What are Active Duty Alerts?

    A. These are for active duty members of the military to put alerts on their credit reports that they are serving on active duty in the military. The alerts are for up to one year. The mechanism for placing the alerts are virtually identical to placing an Initial Fraud Alert explained above, so use the methods above for placing Initial Fraud Alerts.

    Q. Can I put a fraud alert on a deceased relative?

    A. Best information is to mail a copy of the death certificate to each of the 3 bureaus with a letter explaining the situation. Of course it will be helpful if you can supply sufficient identifying information including the SSN of the deceased if you have it.

    Q. Can I place a fraud alert on a child or minor.

    A. Theoretically minors do not have credit reports until they are at least 18. So bureaus will not provide credit reports ordered when the date of birth shows the applicant is less than 18 years old. So the inference is that if your child has a credit report, their birth date may be inaccurate at the credit bureau, so your best course of action is to supply the bureau with a copy of the child’s birth certificate and social security number proof so the bureau associates the SSN with an underage person. Additionally a letter could be written to each bureau explaining the situation.


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