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reliable information on credit cards - online investing - personal loans - owning and operating your own home business. indepth information from professionals in their field. dont forget to check out our links to the best sources on the internet, these days information and research is critical to making the best educated decision to suit your needs.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

How To Get A Free Copy Of Your Credit Report



If you're going to apply for a credit card, a mortgage, a loan or any other source of finance, one thing any potential lender will check is your credit report. This will tell them about any previous unpaid debts or legal judgments against you, and help them assess whether you are creditworthy or not.

There are three three nationwide consumer reporting companies in the US: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. All keep different information about you, and all or any of them may be referred to by a potential lender.

If you are thinking of applying for credit, therefore - and especially if you have ever been turned down in the past - it is important to find out what these companies have on their records about you. And because all three companies are independent, you need to check on all of them.

The good news for consumers is that as from September 1, 2005, everyone in the US is entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the consumer reporting companies once a year.

To get free copies of your credit report, you should not apply to the three companies directly. There is only one website that is authorized to give out free credit reports, and this is at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also get your free credit report via telephone by calling 877-322-8228.

If you find a mistake on your credit report - for example, a debt that isn't yours or a disputed amount - you'll need to fill out the form that comes with the report, or follow the instructions on the explanatory sheet. Upon receipt of a challenge, a credit reporting agency must investigate the claim, usually within 30 days.

As long as a charge is in dispute, it will still show up on your report. Long-time lenders say it's common for reports to have errors. Some estimate that as many as 80 per cent of all credit reports contain some kind of misinformation. So it really is important to take advantage of this free opportunity to check your credit report, even if you're not currently planning any finance applications.

-->by: Nick Davis

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0% on a Balance Transfers Will Not Last Forever



Have you ever been attracted to a credit card because it promises you an outstanding interest rate that seems just too good to be true? Most of us have at some stage jumped for one of these attractive offers. There are a growing number of credit card providers out there that will offer you 0% deals on either balance transfers or purchases, and sometimes they just seem too good to resist.

Particularly if you have a large outstanding credit card balance that you are currently paying a lot of interest on, these offers will be very tempting. In fact, many 0% balance transfer offers will save you hundreds of pounds on interest that you would otherwise have had to pay on your credit card balance. But no matter how attractive such offers may appear at the time, you should only ever take on another credit card if you have taken the time to review your finances and are satisfied that it is the right financial move for you at this time.

To look at a typical example, suppose you have one thousand pounds outstanding on a credit card that charges 10% APR. This means that over the course of a year, this balance will cost you 100 pounds in interest charges. Now suppose you find a credit card that offers you 0% on balance transfers for six months. Well it is pretty obvious that 0% is better than 10 and if you were to take up this offer, assuming there are no balance transfer fees, then how much will you have saved over the six month interest free period? The answer is 50 pounds. However, what will the interest rate revert to once the interest free period has come to an end? This is something you should be thinking about before you opt for the credit card, and not when the interest free period is about to expire and everything is more urgent. Suppose, for the sake of our example that the interest rate reverts to a rate of 25%. This means that over the next six months you will pay �125 in interest.

While this is a very simple example, it illustrates an important point when it comes to 0% balance transfers. In the example above if the customer had stayed with his 10% card, he would have paid �100 in interest over a 12 month period. In the same period, by opting for a 0% balance transfer for six months that then reverted to 25%, he ended up paying �125.

The point to remember is that just because a credit card offers you 0% does not mean it is the best deal out there. Look at the long term rates that the card will offer you, and compare these to the rates you are already getting from your credit card. If your existing rate is better than the rates that you will get from the new card once the introductory offer expires, then maybe you should remain loyal to the card you have.

So while this is going on you will not be spending on the new credit card, but you will be safe in the knowledge that you are saving the interest payments on the old debt.

-->by: Peter Kenny

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