Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Obtain your free credit report from all three credit bureaus

Many divorces are driven by financial problems, losses of jobs or even another spouse mis-using and abusing credit. In most every divorce I advise clients that I can only do as good a job as the information that was provided to me. This means going to the source of documents. One such source for your financial standing is getting a copy of your credit report - which you can get for free.

Free Annual Credit Report

Here is the web address to get a credit report from  all three credit bureaus: www.annualcreditreport.com.  Beware of scams or websites that require you to pay for your credit report because you can get it free at this website. This is the same website the Federal Trade Commission recommends http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml.  Note the free annual credit report can only be obtained once per year and does not include your FICO credit score. To obtain your credit score, you may wish to go directly to the company that produces them: www.fico.com  rather than rely on some second source that may be selling you their own credit score.

Before you start the process of filling out the information necessary to get your credit report  you will need all your information such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, current address and previous addresses if you've moved in the last two years. At some point in the process this website brings you through, you will visit each of the major credit reporting agencies websites to access your credit report. If you do not have a working printer hooked up, you may have a problem saving the credit report. Some of these reports are many pages in length. If you cannot save the credit report as a HTML document, there are options to save it as a PDF/Adobe Acrobat file. I use free software called “Cute PDF” to create PDF documents for anything I could otherwise print. Instead of printing a document from a printer, you send the document to a PDF right from your print dialog box. http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp.