Effective Sept. 21, 2018, security freezes and fraud alerts will change under a new federal law. Placing, temporarily lifting and removing security freezes is now free for consumers, and initial fraud alerts increased from 90 days to one year. For more information, please click here.
Do you know your credit score? Have you looked at your credit report lately? Do you know how to read and understand the information on it?
In my experience as vice president of operations for Personal Solutions for Equifax, a lot of consumers answer no to these questions.
Credit reporting agencies or CRAs compile data about you and your finances from many sources, including lenders, credit card companies, and public records, and create a credit file that reflects your personal credit history.
Much of my job focuses on ensuring our customers understand the products Equifax offers and to learn how we can best meet their needs. I’m passionate about credit and our products because both help people make smarter decisions about their personal finances. Consumers don’t always understand the role of the credit reporting agency in their credit history and the value of taking control of their destiny by monitoring their credit and maximizing their financial portfolio. That is the challenge.
My father taught me at a young age to take care of my finances. My mother didn’t do much with the family finances beyond balancing a checkbook, so now I’m helping her sort through annuities and pensions and the stock market. She didn’t want to wrestle with the portfolio, but my father wanted me to be financially savvy. And now, with twenty-four years in the financial services industry, I have seen what can happen if you don’t understand credit and how it affects your financial big picture.
In my current role with Equifax, I get to see what questions people are asking when it comes to their credit history, credit score, and interactions with credit reporting agencies.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions: How long do you keep credit information like bankruptcies and late payments on my credit report?
- How is information updated on my credit file?
- How do I update credit card and other personal information?
- How often are credit scores and reports updated?
- How can I find out my credit score?
- How do I read a credit report?
- How do I improve credit-worthiness?
- What do I do when a family member dies?
- How do I set up a security freeze? How do I access my PIN and account while under a security freeze?
- How can I add a family member to my credit history?
I’m going to answer these questions for you in this blog. But, I also want to hear from you. I want to make this an educational resource to help you better understand your financial big picture and get the most out of your portfolio. What else do you want to know?
Diane Moogalian is vice president of operations for Equifax Personal Information Solutions. Prior to joining Equifax in 2007, Diane held several strategic roles with leading financial services companies.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.