Friday, May 31, 2013

Governmental Help for Checking your Credit Score

You can and should get a copy of your credit report free once every 12 months.

There is a government website which gives you information on how to order, complete with links to forms, addresses, and contact phone numbers.   The site also tells you why you should do it, how long it takes, and what to do if you discover inaccuracies.

Here are some reasons WHY you should do this every 12 months:

1. Inaccuracies are very common.  The report may show a debt as unpaid that you did pay or it may list information that belongs to someone else and not you, show outdated information or list disputed debts.  You can and should correct these errors.
2. Someone else's information may be on your report - For instance, an ex-spouse, a family member, someone with a similar name or social security number, or a stranger that had one of the same addresses that you had (but not at the same time).
3. If you have been divorced or are about to be, you should know your credit score.  Your credit score will be important if you are going to buy a new home or car, and may be checked if you are applying for certain jobs. Know what a third party will see.  Once you are divorced, make sure that your ex-spouse's credit issues are not on  your report.

In some cases, your divorce decree may specify that your spouse needs to pay a debt, but you may remain legally responsible to the creditor (but not always).  This area can be tricky to interpret and is based on family law, contract law and consumer law that is both federal and state law.  If you compare your credit report and your divorce decree, and you still aren't sure whether the credit report is accurate, ask for help from a family law/consumer law attorney.

Here is the link to the government website: Free Credit Reports 

Kalish Law Office:  Family law, consumer law and  business law. Since 1984. The Woodlands, Texas
"Passionate, Professional and Personal. We Make the Difference."

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