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    • Loan Modification – The Best Chance for Success April 30, 2008
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      Freecreditdusters.com has a great article on ID Theft – Check it out
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The anatomy of A credit watch service

Credit Eye

The best way for you to fight identity theft is by monitoring and reviewing your credit report on a monthly basis. Does this sound time consuming? Don’t worry it’s not. In fact the very technology that has made identity theft a lucrative, full time gig will also help you combat it.

Why would you not want to protect your credit? If you follow these steps you will never be caught unaware again.

Join a credit watch service. We have done a lot of research to find what we feel is the best of the best. We took into account several factors such as:

1. Cost – This is the big one and the most confusing. This is not just about monthly cost, but also the add-ons. Several of the credit agencies we looked at would charge extra for monitoring. Many of them were misleading and charged extra for the other two credit bureaus.

2. Accuracy – This is the second biggest factor for a credit watch service. All scores are not created equal. This is very confusing to most consumers. The bottom line is that if you use a service that does not use the FICO score then you are wasting your money. It is imperative to make sure that you work with a service that uses all three of the credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax).

3. Layout – This was extremely important. How easy was the credit report to read? This might sound obvious, but some of the services were difficult to decipher.

REVIEW RESULTS: We have found what we believe to be the best of the best. We are hooked on TruCredit it matches all of our criteria and more. You can check it out! Simply click here to try it out for yourself.

Some TrueCredit highlights:

> Unlimited access to all three versions (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) of your credit reports and credit scores.

> Receive a brand new report anytime you want. Heck, pull ’em and check ’em every day if that’s what floats your boat.

> Cancel whenever you want. Like me, you’re always looking for a better deal, right?

> You’ll be notified of important credit-report changes (like new accounts, new inquiries, late payments, and various other speed bumps) within 24 hours.

> Credit reports are detailed, colorful, and very well organized. I prefer these to the 3-bureau versions found at MyFICO.com, which I’ve previously used. In fact, the overall layout of TrueCredit is excellent.

> TrueCredit has a “Trends” section which shows you trends over time in seven various aspects of your credit life, from “Available Credit” to “Total Debt.” More below.

> Like their FAQs state: When you personally check your credit report with TrueCredit.com, the inquiry that is recorded will not adversely affect your credit standing.

> Easy-to-understand graphics show you how your score compares to others, and how you’ll rank with lenders.

> TrueCredit comes with $25k of “Identity Theft Insurance” (provided by AIG). I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather not have to use this.
Offers lots of good educational articles and worksheets on topics like improving your credit scores, credit resolutions, credit-repair services, and identity theft. A lot of this, though, is accessible even if you’re not a TrueCredit subscriber.

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6 Responses

  1. Many thanks for your recommendation of credit.com/trucredit. A question: you cite above the importance of only using a service that uses the “FICO” scoring system. Credit.com doesn’t advertise that they use FICO, mentioning generically “Scores.” Same with Experian, advertising “Credit Scores.” How does one confirm that FICO is used? Thank you.

  2. Tom,

    Great question. There is a lot of misunderstanding about the different types of scores. The scores you receive from the websites (Truecredit.com, Freecreditreport.com, and Exquifax.com are all what are considered “consumer” scores. While they are a version of FICO they are not the score you will receive when you apply for a mortgage, car loan, or credit card. We have found that they are close, but they can also vary greatly. It is a strange paradox to order a credit report expecting accuracy and yet the Fair Isaac Company is able to cloak the scores they provide to only those who provide debt. The information in the credit is accurate and up to date.

    Thanks,

    Matt Sullivan, CEO of Credit Dusters
    mattt@creditdusters.com
    http://www.creditdusters.com

  3. Hi, Matt,

    Very interesting information…thanks. Now that you mention it, I received one of those “consumer scores” before I did a refi once. The loan docs revealed my “real” FICO score almost 40 points higher! I would have liked to have had that info prior to the refi.

    It would seem that the law would allow consumers to see the same number as the lenders, but, then again, I’m really not too surprised.

    Do you suppose the “FICO” score obtainable on its own site, “myfico.com” is cloaked? Other than apply for a loan, is the real number simply unobtainable?

    Best,

    Tom

  4. Tom,

    Possibly, but I spent 8 years in the mortgage industry and I can assure you that the scores can differ even between the service providers we used. If we used Landsafe (a division of Countrywide) the score could be 20 points higher than pulling it from another credit services. These are third parties and not the credit buearu’s. It was so frustrating.

    Thanks,

    Matt Sullivan, CEO of Credit Dusters
    mattt@creditdusters.com
    http://www.creditdusters.com

  5. Matt,

    Thanks for recommending “Trucredit.” However, the link you provide above takes me to “CREDIT.COM.” I asked the online “operator” there if it’s the same company as “Trucredit” and he replied, “No, Trucredit is a Transunion service.” Then, I located yet another site, “Trucredit.com” Please clarify.

    Many thanks,

    Tom

  6. Equally important is disputing inaccurate items on your reports to get them removed, which will help increase your credit score.

    Fix Credit

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