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 Monitoring Your Credit
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Wed, Sep 15th, 2010 10:57 am

Just finished transferring all of the blog posts from January 2005 so that they are searchable on the stlagent.com website.

In the process I was rereading two old blog posts on Identity Theft and Credit Safety.

In today's "post-housing bubble" world understanding and protecting your credit is significantly more important than it was a few years ago if you want to buy or refinance a home.

Well, on January 3, 2005 I blogged about a law called FACTA that allowed people to get free copies of their credit reports.  You can read that post here.

Although today you can't turn on the TV without seeing dozens of companies advertising "free credit reports."  The truth is, these companies are simply collect your personal information so they can try to sell you credit monitoring services by doing nothing more than giving you reports the government says you can get for free anyway.

So, I thought it might make since to revisit FACTA.

In cooperation with the FTC, the three largest credit reporting agencies operate a website called annualcreditreport.com.  This is the ONLY federally mandated and authorized source for obtaining a free credit report.

When you go to this website you will be asked to provide basic identification information to establish an account.  Once established you can then link to the individual credit agencies and request reports from all three agencies at the same time or stagger the requests throughout the twelve month period as a way to self-monitor your credit.

If there are errors on your reports, you can use the guidelines set down by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to get the errors removed.

Here are some resources if you want to know more:

More on FACTA:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_and_Accurate_Credit_Transactions_Act

http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs6a-facta.htm

More on FCRA

http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Credit_Reporting_Act

Wikipedia's entry on Annualcreditreport.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annualcreditreport.com

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in the technology industry which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director in 2005. In 2011 Sid launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc, while continuing to perform marketing and operations for Kimberly's team. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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