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Subject:  Re: Credit Reporting Agencies Date:  4/12/1998  5:56 PM
Author:  Bcole Number:  1114 of 312155

The Foolish thing to do would be to check your credit file once a year at least.

Experian, a spinoff of TRW's credit reporting company, will give you 1 free copy per year regardless where you live. In the state of Georgia, and a few others , the 3 bureaus are required to give you at least 2 FREE copies per year. TU and Equifax would will charge as much as 8$ per copy if they can.

The Credit Bureaus as much as they try to avoid, still have mistakes on their files that can range from misspellings of names and addresses to actual credit accounts being reported (and placed) on the wrong file and erroneous dings.

I have been getting copies of my credit file from the 3 bureaus every year and everything appears in order but I have some interesting observations.

I have 14 different accounts - ranging from credit cards to student loans. These should all show up on my credit files.. right. Wrong, Equifax reported 12 accounts, TU reported 8 accounts and Experian reported 7. So this shows some lenders might report to just 1 bureau or none at all (of the 3 major ones).

Also I had Promotional Inquiries (Credit Card
Solicitations that remain on a credit file for 6 months) from companies that I didn't have a corresponding mailer from!

Just an FYI about what you were saying about balances - A credit file is a snapshot of a particular point in time that doesn't correspond with the billing dates that you receive from the lender. In other words
unless you have accounts that haven't been active in the past few months chances are they might show up with some kind of balance.

As far as which bureau was more accurate? Good question. Every bureau will say it is. My experience in the credit bureau business was that all had pros and cons to their implementation of this monumental task. Equifax has the largest database(said to be the largest in the world?), TU was fastest but the smallest database(of the 3), and Experian had the cooler technology and a somewhat relational database.
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