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JoeyandDavid

How often do you check your credit?

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Just a quick reminder for all US Citizens with the new year means you can get another free copy of your credit report… one from all three of the big boys. ( we normally break it up so we get one every 4 months.. that way we keep a check all year long) I really hate to sound like a commercial.. but it is important to see what’s going on even if you haven’t the need to borrow cash.

http://www.annualcreditreport.com

We were victims so we tend to be over cautious.<]

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JoeyandDavid,

Thank you for this information. I've heard of a free credit report but never knew where to get it. It was an extremely helpful sight.

Your suggestion about doing the report every 4 months is a treasure. That way I'll be able to check on things all year.

I still can't believe it was free.

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Being in the mortgage business, I must tell you to be careful about how often you do pull your credit. I have free access just because we pull credit and only do it twice a year. If you pull your score too often you can bring your overall credit rating score down since part of it is based on the number inquiries that are appearing.

Dont mistake me, if all you are doing is pulling you credit every few months that is not bad, but if you combine that with applying for a credit card, car shopping, mortgage shopping, etc, every time you do one of those things you create an inquiry and bring your score down.

I check it too because of identity theft, I think in todays world we almost have to, just be careful about the number of times.

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NYCruiser,

If one checks with a different credit manager every four months will that affect one's credit score? Do they report to each other when a request is made for a credit report?

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I think her point is your cool as long as you just check your report and not get your credit score each time...It is not supposed to count if you "check" your own credit file!

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Every time you do something that pertains to your credit it creates an "inquiry" on your credit. For instance, people do this often, if they go car shopping and they sit down with several different dealers and give them their information, each car dealer will pull their credit and that could give them 4 inquiries in one day. When you apply for a credit card you get an inquiry and if you pull your credit you get one too.

Now dont get me wrong, when you are applying for a mortgage, they are explainable inquiries. But in todays world almost everything we do is based on our credit score. Not really fair but the way it is so you dont want to bring your score down.

It is good to check your credit like you are doing, just be aware, or look at your credit report, it should say somewhere near the bottom number of inquiries, it will tell you exactly who pulled your credit. Sometimes people pull your credit and you dont even know like an existing credit card may be wanting to increase your credit line, which is great for them, but since they already have your authorization on file they pull your credit again before they increase the limit.

You dont want too many inquiries on your report. I am not sure what your credit reports are like, but on mine, we get the 3 bureaus, experian, equifax and transunion, all three have your score and then list the reasons how they got them. If one of those reasons say recent inquiries and your score is lower than you think it should be that could be a reason.

This is getting long, but I will give you tips for getting your score up too.

One of the biggest factors that effect a score is an open account, especially a credit card, (not installment debt like a car loan or mortgage) which is at or near its limits. If you have a card with a limit of $2,000 and your balance is $1900 they look at that negatively. If you have several accounts that way it will really impact your score. Try and get the balances away from the limit.

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NYCruiser,

Thanks for the information. When companies that I don't know make inquiries to my account, why should it affect my credit score? It seems that they should know if I am checking my own account to check to see if identity theft is involved or whatever reason I want to check it.

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Our credit system is one of the most unfair systems we have. People can effect your credit and nothing you can do can correct it. i.e. people who steal your identity. While you can stop the cards and not be responsible for them, you cant remove it from your credit, you can only put a note on your file that you are a victim of identity theft.

So many things effect our credit scores, number of inquiries, number of open account, too many recent open accounts (if you open two of three credit cards at the same time) a recent late (even if its not your fault, I cant tell you how many customers I have had with a recent late and a letter from their bank saying it was report erroneously. While they have a letter and can prove it, they cant remove it from their credit report and as such it effects their score.

I am sure you have seen lots on tv about credit scores and the importance of them. If you are in the 600 - 700 range your credit is fine and you shouldnt overall have any problems obtaining new credit. If you score is over 700 its considered excellent and you can pretty much name your game when it comes to rates, etc.

I only mention the inquiries because so many people get them and do not realize it, I have heard of some people pulling their credit every month because there are so many places that offer them free and they want to make sure they are not victims of identity theft, but that can be detrimental in the long run.

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That is not quite true.. it does take an effort.. but it can be done For example here in the state of California after you file a police report for identity theft and you notify the issuing card and notify them that the account opened was fraudulent.. By law if you ask the Reporting Bureaus to remove the negative they have to as long as you send them a letter asking them to do so and provide a police report. It took persistence and 2 years but now its officially been deleted from all three… I agree it wasn’t easy… but it can be done

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Janet I am in the process of closing a few credit cards. I do not need them and do not use them. I will always have one but I do not like to carry a balance.

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