Credit Report; best method

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yardarm
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Credit Report; best method

Post by yardarm » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:27 am

The purpose of this discussion topic is not to revisit the wisdom of whether persons should check their credit report annually, but instead on the mechanics of submitting the request. A search of this topics history suggest the person check only one of the three credit bureaus at a time in order to stretch the process out over a longer period. I had not thought of that and maybe this has merit. My question is which is the most safe and efficient way to submit the request. I am considering a paper request submitted via snail mail since I think it may be more secure than an online request. Any thoughts about this option? Will checking you credit history tamper with any credit freeze in place? Thanks in advance. I suppose that I could call the credit bureau with these questions, but I felt that someone reading this forum might have personal experience with this process.

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Pajamas
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:35 am

I believe that an online request from a malware-free computer with property security precautions such as using https is more secure than mailing something on paper.

Rupert
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by Rupert » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:37 am

There is nothing secure about the US mail. On-line requests submitted through annualcreditreport.com is the best way, assuming you exercise proper computer and internet hygiene. I recommend checking one report every 4 months and monitoring your credit score monthly via your credit card statements/accounts.

FinanceGeek
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by FinanceGeek » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:39 am

This article explains the methods of obtaining reports: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0 ... it-reports. I think calling is better than using the web interface (which the last time I tried to use them demanded my email address, which I prefer not to give out). But since you're calling to a toll free number they instead get your phone number, also not good.

But lately, I no longer bother to request the reports. I only care if something's wrong, and I'll find out quickly enough from American Express, Discover, etc. who give me my credit score every month without cost or need to request it.

student
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by student » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:46 am

Both Experian and Transunion offer free credit monitoring service.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/experian ... port-free/

https://www.trueidentity.com/

Nate79
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by Nate79 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:59 am

Credit karma. But can't have freeze in place until after creating an account. Lift freeze. Open account. Put freeze back in place.

yardarm
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by yardarm » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:15 am

Thanks Pajamas, Rupert, and FinanceGeek for the quick followup to my questions. I thinks that I will take your advice and use either the web or the telephone to request a credit history report from a single credit bureau once every four months each year. If the phone or email are more secure than the mail, I wonder about the hacks to Experian. It would seem that their data bases are not secure no matter which method we use. Oh well.......better to check it regardless. I may call in order to verify that any credit freezes in place will not be compromised. Thanks again.

tomd37
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by tomd37 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:24 am

As a married couple I submit a request for a credit report every two months to the three major reporting firms; the first six months I request a report under my name and SSN and then the next six months I request a report under my spouse's name and SSN. That way we have an updated report every two months. For the past six years or so I have used the toll-free number of 1-877-322-8228 and it takes me five minutes to complete the request. I receive the written report via USPS within twelve days and keep them on file until the next report a year later.

As a matter of fact the next request goes in tomorrow for a Experian report for me. :beer
Tom D.

yardarm
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by yardarm » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:44 am

Thanks tomd37. Great idea! We can benefit from using this method.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:03 am

I believe if you call they will also send you the report via snail-mail (completely insecure in my opinion).

I believe using the Web interface is the best method (from a secure/known wifi network and on a protected computer).

yardarm
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by yardarm » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:15 am

Thanks DaftInvestor! Did you do it via the web? I guess what I am asking is whether this is something you did or did you get this info from some other source. Thanks again.

DiggleRex
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by DiggleRex » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:26 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:03 am
I believe if you call they will also send you the report via snail-mail (completely insecure in my opinion).

I believe using the Web interface is the best method (from a secure/known wifi network and on a protected computer).
Problem is the web interface (which would be my preference) often doesn't work for at least one of the bureaus (often Equifax, and this is not a new problem), and then you're forced to get it by other means (such as using the automated phone number and getting it via mail).

learning_head
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by learning_head » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:40 am

Why use 3 agencies every 4 months rather than 4 agencies (4th being Innovis) for doing every 3 months?
tomd37 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:24 am
As a married couple I submit a request for a credit report every two months to the three major reporting firms; the first six months I request a report under my name and SSN and then the next six months I request a report under my spouse's name and SSN.
I think your reports are independent of each other. If someone opens a bad account in your name, it won't show on your spouse's report and vice versa. So, I'd think it's no different than just doing both of yours at the same time, be it 3 or 4 times a year.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:59 am

DiggleRex wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:26 am
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:03 am
I believe if you call they will also send you the report via snail-mail (completely insecure in my opinion).

I believe using the Web interface is the best method (from a secure/known wifi network and on a protected computer).
Problem is the web interface (which would be my preference) often doesn't work for at least one of the bureaus (often Equifax, and this is not a new problem), and then you're forced to get it by other means (such as using the automated phone number and getting it via mail).
I've downloaded 6 reports yearly (3 for me and 3 for my spouse) using the web interface for the last several years and have never had a problem myself.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:01 pm

yardarm wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:15 am
Thanks DaftInvestor! Did you do it via the web? I guess what I am asking is whether this is something you did or did you get this info from some other source. Thanks again.

I do it via the web. I go to www.annualcreditreport.com which will then forward you over to whichever of the 3 agencies you are looking to get (or it will step you through all 3). I find it easier to start with the annualcreditreport site as on the individual home pages of the big 3 they try to steer you into buying other services.

tomd37
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by tomd37 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:32 pm

Learning Head - Our two reports contain the same reported information when compared with each other.
Tom D.

Katietsu
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by Katietsu » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:39 pm

tomd37 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:32 pm
Learning Head - Our two reports contain the same reported information when compared with each other.
Yes but that is because you apparently only have joint accounts that you have opened. If Mr. Criminal opens an account in your name only, it will not show up on your spouse's report. If you want to minimize the amount of time someone could be charging things in your name, you should alternate reports.

tomd37
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Re: Credit Report; best method

Post by tomd37 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:53 pm

Yes I do alternate recipients of the report every two months.
Tom D.

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