Monday, April 23, 2012

Credit report

I started realizing about a year ago that most of my friends, including my husband, know very little about credit, money, and finance. It shocks me when people tell me they don't know what their credit is, or how to balance a checkbook.

I ask how do you manage your money? Without fail the answer is "well, I use bill pay" or "I check my balance every few days or so online."

I'm not an expert, or an advisor, I'm not a lawyer, or accountant. But please answer this question for me.

How do you get ahead if you don't know where you are?

My challenge for you this week is to pull your credit score, look it over, don't call anyone or make a payment yet. I'll explain the best line of action next week.

Here are a few reviews of companies I've used or heard about.

Benefits: It’s actually free, only once a year, but FREE. The instructions are relatively easy to understand with pictures. It takes you to Equifax first, gives your credit report which you can view/monitor or the option to just print. Then you have to push a button to return to and follow the same steps for TransUnion and Experian. Not going to lie kinda took a long time with a lot of ink out of the old printer. It was the perfect solution for my husband with pretty credit, or someone that just wants to inquire.

Down fall: You can only pull your credit report once a year, and no credit monitoring

Overall I give it an A-. It was the perfect solution for my husband with pretty credit, or someone that just wants to inquire.

A co-worker of mine told me he uses American Express linked into his credit card to monitor his credit. He said that he likes the service because of its easy to use allows you to look up your credit score and report monthly. He could not remember if the cost was $7 or $11. I would think that it was nice that you don’t have to have another company with all your personal info. I checked out American Express and it offers an easy to find 30 day trial for credit monitoring.

He dislikes that he has to pay for the service, but had no other reservations about it.

Overall he give it a thumbs up!

Benefits: They give you a relatively easy to use web page, once you’re a member. You’re able to update your score monthly. The credit monitoring feature e-mails you when anything changes and what the change was. A double password makes the sight feel secure. It is easy to cancel service, with just a few no “thank you’s”.

Down fall: It’s not free! Only the 7 day trial is free. When you sign up you must jump through a ton of hoops to activate the account, beware that if you push the wrong button you may be paying to see your vantage and insurance score. 

Overall I give it a B+. I would give it a higher score but with a twenty minute search I found no clue of the hidden cost till I put all my information in.

Benefits: Super user friendly web page, no hoops to jump through. No soliciting of extra services, or of large quantities. 

Down falls: If you want to see all of your credit scores it will cost you $31.95 a month or to just see your Experian Report for $15 or so a month

Overall I give the sight a B-. The price of the service is so far above everyone else.

Benefits: It’s free, yes free will let you look and monitor your credit, Vantage and Auto Insurance scores daily. The site tells you the outstanding balance on your mortgage, auto loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.

Down fall: you cannot actually, or so I’ve found find, your actual detailed credit report. It is also riddled with credit card offer ads.

Overall I give it a C. If you know what’s on your credit, or just want to know your TransUnion score it’s a great place to get that info.

I hear it is much like for your Experian Score; you can update it once a month. I have not signed up for this sight.

The sight looks ok. I tried to sign up for the service offering a 30 free trial and was asked for a member number. I looked around for a different link for a few minutes and scrolled through the FAQ. No answer to the Member Number Question.

Overall I give it an F

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info! We pull ours when we are trying to get a loan of some sort, or once a year just cause we are interested. I just have Dan do it at Mountain America. They have to do it for the loan process anyway. But, if I am ever checking just to see what's going on, I will refer to this list. :) Steve and I don't have any debt other than my student loans and our mortgage. So, the only reason I check is to make sure that nobody has stolen my identity.