Identity Theft : Applying For Credit? Better Check Your Credit Report First

Planning to apply for a mortgage, car loan, or new job in the upcoming months? To avoid any embarrassing and possibly detrimental rejections, be sure to check the accuracy of your credit report. The United States Public Interest Research Group in Washington released a report earlier this summer stating that 80% of credit reports had mistakes and 25% of all credit reports contained errors serious enough to cause consumers to be denied credit.

Beginning in this upcoming December on the West Coast and working its way to the East Coast by the following September, free annual credit reports will be furnished to any consumer upon request (six states already require free credit reports including Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Vermont). Although the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act was passed by Congress last December, great strides still need to be made to help consumers combat the inaccuracy of credit reporting. What should consumers do in the interim? Begin by checking your credit report at least once a year (and before applying for a large loan of any type) from the three primary national reporting bureaus – TransUnion (800) 916-8800, Experian (888) 397-3742 and Equifax (800) 685-1111. Be sure to read next month’s Identity Theft column for details on what to do if there are mistakes or omissions in your credit report.

For further information, contact Louis P. Stanasolovich, CFPÔ at (412) 635-9210 or e-mail him at

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