2013: Third Credit Report Update

2013: Third Credit Report Update

Photograph Credit: Flickr (Dan Eriksson)

With an extra hour, I hope you can find a few minutes to order your next credit report.

By adding this reminder to my scheduled during the Planning for Success series, I didn’t forget our third credit report update this year.

Thanks to the SC Department of Revenue’s security breech, our family is still receiving monthly updates from our year of free monitoring.

Though I get an e-mail listing any activity, I still request a copy of our credit reports to stay on schedule and look over all the activity on our accounts.

If you are following my recommended schedule for requesting your credit reports or are just beginning, then check the date on your previous year’s credit report before requesting a new report.

Wait at least one full year from the processing of your last request for a free report to prevent incurring a fee. For example, my Equifax report printed on October 22, 2012, so I can request another this year for FREE anytime after October 23, 2013.

In using time wisely, I request our reports every 4 (or 5) months. For this third credit report update, I requested Paul’s TransUnion report and my Equifax report. When the reports arrive, I will follow this plan:

1. Review for errors,

2. Challenge discrepancies,

3. Run a FREE TransUnion credit score for Paul,

4. Replace last year’s reports with the new reports and credit score in the first file slot of Box 1 of our important documents, and

5. Put the file box away until February’s credit check.

The first time we ordered our credit reports, they were filled with errors from wrong information to incorrect credit limits. I spent months corresponding via mail and on-line forms getting the information corrected.

It took time. But in using time wisely then, I typically spend 5 minutes or less now reviewing our credit reports. The process is simple because I spent so much time getting it right the first time.

The lesson I learned from that experience was to fix errors as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more time and research it takes the company to fix it. Nipping inaccuracies early will save you frustrations later.

Keep using time wisely. Rest easy knowing your accounts are accurate by requesting your credit reports throughout the year. Finding an error early can save you money, energy, and time. Happy checking!

Question: Do you request your annual credit reports?

Missing a Requested Credit Report

Missing a Requested Credit Report

Photograph Credit: Fotolia

Losing thing makes me obsessed with finding the item. It’s like everything else gets blocked from my mind until I find the object.

Thankfully, this does not happen often. When it occurs, I will not stop until I find it which was the case with missing a requested credit report.

Missing a Requested Credit Report

In preparing to check our second round of credit reports, I checked our credit report file for the dates of our last reports.

As I looked, I was shocked to discover that the TransUnion report I ordered back in February was missing. OH, NO!!

In working through my panic, I checked the entire file opening and the surrounding sections. Not finding the report, I checked my desk where visions of tossing it in the trash enter my thought processes.

By now, I had worked myself up thinking of worst-case scenarios. Concerned that our mail might have been stolen, I contacted TransUnion.

To my relief, they never received my request, so no missing report. Aah . . . the sigh that relieved my panicked-stricken heart and lowered my blood pressure all at the same time. Whew!

Adjusting after Missing a Requested Credit Report

Now what to do? If I requested a new report, then I will need to reconfigure my rotation schedule. In considering other options, I turned to my FREE credit score with Credit Karma.

When I check my credit score, I can generate a FREE credit report through my account. Because Credit Karma is not a reporting agency or credit bureau, I can request my FREE credit score on time next year through AnnualCreditReport.com or 1-877-322-8228.

Though I was missing a requested report, the information was not relayed from Annual Credit Report to TransUnion. Thankful that my report was not in someone else’s hands, I have now added to my calendar an entry 3 weeks after requesting my credit report. The entry reminds me to check for those reports. This way, I can contact the company immediately to check on the status.

As you organize or maintain your important documents, check on your credit report order placement. If you are missing a requested report after searching your home, then contact the company to inquire. If they sent it and you did not receive it, then report it missing.

If you missed your scheduled time period, then check Credit Karma for TransUnion or Quizzle for Experian before requesting a credit report. By checking Credit Karma, I saved money, energy, and time from ordering another one and disrupting my schedule.

For those of you who request your FREE credit reports through the link on-line, you won’t find yourself missing a requested credit report. After this experience, the on-line option is beginning to look like a better way, but I’m not quite there yet. Happy requesting!

Question: Have you experienced the panic of missing a requested credit report?

2013: Second Credit Report Update

2012 Credit report update

Photograph Credit: Flickr (Dan Eriksson)

Having missed the July date I scheduled during the Planning for Success series, I ordered our credit reports upon returning from our family vacation. Since I order our reports over the phone, I wanted to use our home phone for security verification.

We are still receiving monthly updates from our year of free monitoring (thanks to the SC Department of Revenue’s Security breech).

Though I get an e-mail listing any activity, I still request a copy of credit reports to stay on schedule and look over all the activity on our accounts.

If you are following my recommended schedule for requesting your credit reports or are just beginning, then check the date on your previous year’s credit report before requesting a new report.

Wait at least one full year from the processing of your last request for a free report to prevent incurring a fee. For example, my Experian report printed on July 27, 2012, so I can request another this year for FREE anytime after July 28, 2013.

In using time wisely, I request our reports every 4 (or 5) months. For this second credit report update, I requested Paul’s Equifax report and my Experian report. When the reports arrive, I will follow this plan:

1. Review for errors,

2. Challenge discrepancies,

3. Run a FREE Experian credit score for Tracy,

4. Replace last year’s reports with the new reports and credit score in the first file slot of Box 1 of my important documents, and

5. Put file box away until October’s credit check.

The first time we ordered our credit reports, they were filled with errors from wrong information to incorrect credit limits. I spent months corresponding via mail and on-line forms getting the information corrected.

It took time. But in using time wisely then, I typically spend 5 minutes or less now reviewing our credit reports. The process is simple because I spent so much time getting it right the first time.

The lesson I learned from that experience was to fix errors as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more time and research it takes the company to fix it. Nipping inaccuracies early will save you frustrations later.

Keep using time wisely. Rest easy knowing your accounts are accurate by requesting your credit reports throughout the year. Finding an error early can save you money, energy, and time. Happy checking!

Question: How often do you request your annual credit reports?

2013: First Credit Report Update

2012 Credit report update

Photograph Credit: Flickr (Dan Eriksson)

Though you have probably already requested your first credit report this year, I wanted to remind you in case it slipped your mind. Having placed a reminder on my calendar during the Planning for Success series, I requested our credit reports in February.

Staying proactive in reviewing our credit reports alerts us to any unusual activity. Protecting our accounts with protective passwords and credit limits, we hope to deter identity thieves from our accounts.

To check those accounts often, we request one credit report every four months. With one free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus, we can monitor our credit all year along without paying a monitoring service.

If you are following my recommended schedule for requesting your credit reports, then check the date on your previous year’s credit report before requesting a new report. Wait at least one full year from the processing of your last request. For example, I requested my TransUnion report on February 20, 2012, so I can request another this year for free anytime after February 20, 2013.

In using time wisely, I request our reports every 4 (or 5) months. During the first quarter of 2013, I requested Paul’s Experian report and my TransUnion report. When the reports arrived, I followed this plan:

1. Review for errors,

2. Challenge discrepancies,

3. Run a free Experian credit score for Paul,

4. Run a free TransUnion credit score for Tracy,

5. Replace last year’s reports with the new reports and credit scores in the first file slot of Box 1 of my important documents, and

6. Put file box away until June’s credit check.

By scheduling our credit report requests on my calendar, I stay on track while checking our reports. Though we have not had any unusual activity, I find reassurance in seeing the same information reported repeatedly. This process only takes a few minutes, but finding an error can save you money, energy, and time. Happy checking!

Question: Do you regularly check your credit reports?

Planning for Success: Insert Credit Report Schedule – Day 6

Planning for success - Day 6

Photograph Credit: iStockphoto

Knowing that a successful year will not materialize on its own, we must plan and prepare for a prosperous 2013.

Throughout the 31 days of January, I will choose one topic each day to prepare or schedule for this year.

Without preparation, I know I will forget, miss, or overlook certain items. If you desire an organized year, then join me in this adventure of Planning for Success for a prosperous 2013.

To receive a daily e-mail around 11:00 a.m. with the new posts of each day, subscribe to my free daily newsletter. In case you miss a post in this series, I will provide the link to each day as the month progresses. 🙂

Day 1: Select a Planning Tool

Day 2: Add Your Priorities

Day 3: Print and Display Your Menu Planner – with free printable

Day 4: Record Membership Expiration Dates 

Day 5: Mark Due Dates for Monthly Bills

Day 6: Insert Credit Report Schedule

With the rise of identity theft, everyone must carefully consider who gets her personal information. Even being careful with your information, hackers and thieves may still gain access. To protect your accounts and learn of issues promptly, request your credit reports throughout the year.

AnnualCreditReport.com provides one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. All three bureaus should report your information accurately. Therefore, if any new accounts have been opened, you would see that information on your report.

In our household, I request reports from different credit bureaus for Paul and I every 4 months. This way, we can see two different reports to be sure our accounts are still accurate.

My recommended schedule has worked for us. Just remember if you follow my schedule, to check the date of your prior year’s report. To get the free report, you need to wait one full year before getting a new one.

On our calendar, I have added notations to these months to check the following credit reports:

FEBRUARY

  • Paul – Experian
  • Tracy – TransUnion

JUNE

  • Paul – Equifax
  • Tracy – Experian

OCTOBER

  • Paul – TransUnion
  • Tracy – Equifax

In planning for success, insert a credit report schedule into your calendar. By checking your credit, you will find any discrepancies and catch any newly unauthorized activity before more damage is done.

A quick note in your calendar with the chosen credit bureau will remind you to review your credit report for free. Wishing that all your accounts remain free from identity theft as you check your reports often. Happy recording!

Question: How is your schedule similar or different from mine?