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Credit Bureaus

March 30, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: How can I get a clear and complete picture of the debts that are hurting my credit score? I have my credit report already. I'm a bit lost and I need to get my credit cleared up to buy a home. Answer: You actually have three credit reports, one at each of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Your mortgage lender is likely to request FICO credit scores from each of the three, so you need to check all three reports. You get your reports for free at one site:
February 24, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Why get identity theft protection for free when you can pay for it? That seems to be the attitude of a number of companies, including Lifelock Inc. Known for the TV ads in which its chief executive displays his Social Security number for all to see, Lifelock sells for $10 a month a package of credit fraud alert tools that people can easily set up for themselves at no cost with one of the major credit reporting bureaus, including Experian Information Systems.
October 29, 1998 | From Bloomberg News
A division of Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. agreed Wednesday to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegations that it didn't give consumers a fair chance to dispute inaccurate credit reports. The FTC charged that First American Credco Inc., the largest U.S. provider of specialty credit reports, routinely failed to investigate disputed credit information as federal law requires.
July 15, 1998 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Highlights of the new law strengthening the Fair Credit Reporting Act: * Thirty-day deadline for fixing mistakes in credit reports, with consumer to be given written results within five days of investigation's completion. * New obligations for creditors--not just credit-reporting bureaus--to provide accurate information or correct errors. * No credit reports may be ordered by employers on job applicants without their written permission.
April 11, 2010 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My husband racked up more than $17,000 in credit card debt and negotiated a settlement for $4,000 last year. We received a 1099-C form for $13,000 of forgiven debt, which we have to claim as income. That puts our modified adjusted gross income over the threshold of being able to claim tuition and college expense deductions for our three kids and myself. We now owe more than $11,000 in taxes and we don't have the cash to pay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Answer: You may think owing an $11,000 tax bill because you saved $13,000 on a credit bill is bad enough.
If you're among the millions of Americans whose credit histories aren't quite perfect, answer these two questions: * Have you been trying to improve your credit standing by scrupulously paying your mortgage and credit card bills on time every month? * Would you be upset to learn that your solid, on-time payment performance isn't being documented anywhere and therefore won't help you get a lower interest rate the next time you apply for a home mortgage or an equity loan? Get ready to be upset.
A credit card scam left Bonnie Guiton feeling that she had been victimized twice--first by forgers and then by one of the nation's largest credit bureaus, TRW Credit Data Division. Canceling the forged Visa card and having $5,000 in fraudulent charges erased was simple enough, but she says her anger flared anew when she found that the incident had ruined her TRW credit report. "Why should the consumer have the responsibility of smoking out all the credit bureaus?" Guiton asks.
November 10, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Could the real estate market be heading for a new financial storm? Maybe. Some mortgage and credit experts worry that billions of dollars of home equity credit lines that were extended a decade ago during the housing boom could be heading for big trouble soon, creating a new wave of defaults for banks and homeowners. That's because these credit lines, which are second mortgages with floating rates and flexible withdrawal terms, carry mandatory "resets" requiring borrowers to begin paying both principal and interest on their balances after 10 years.
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