Wednesday, January 11, 2012

4 Year-End Financial Housekeeping Tips

You can put a stop to third class (junk) mail, credit card solicitations, receive a copy of your credit report for free and check your credit score by visiting these websites and following the easy instructions.

Stop junk mail:
http://www.dmachoice.org/

Stop credit card offers:
http://www.optoutprescreen.com/

you will still receive credit card offers from your own bank/credit card company but all the other ones will stop. Not only will your mail volume decrease but your risk of identity theft will also decrease - credit card solicitations are a prime source of identity theft.

Obtain a copy of your credit report:
http://www.annualcreditreport.com/

The three credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) are each required to provide you with a free copy every 12 months. If you rotate your requests, you can get a free copy of your credit report every four months or so. Credit report and score overview attached.

Check your credit score:
You can purchase your FICO credit score at http://www.myfico.com/ for $19.95 (don’t sign up for the “free” version – it’s not free). You can review and monitor other non-FICO credit scores at several websites for free. I have personally used http://www.creditkarma.com/ a site run by the credit bureau Transunion – it uses a credit score called the Transrisk score. It is not the FICO score but is constructed in a similar fashion and is useful in keeping an eye on your credit score at no cost.

Kim Miller, CFP®

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