Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Life and debt on a more personal level

Sometimes it doesn't take the IMF or the World Bank to get us into financial trouble. We can do it to ourselves. Fortunately, there is also a lot we can do ourselves to improve our financial situation. Here are a few things to help you get started:

* Read about how ways to save money, reduce debt, invest, and plan for retirement.

* Check your credit rating with the three major credit reporting agencies:

Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
To order report: 1-800-685-1111
To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285

Experian (formerly TRW)
National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
To order report: 1-888-397-3742
To report fraud: 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion LLC
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
To order report: 1-800-888-4213
To report fraud: 1-800-916-8800

* Learn how to choose a credit counselor. Don't get taken by a scam!

There's lots more information out there. But be careful. There are no quick fixes. In the long run, you have to spend less money than you bring in. There's really no way around that.


Karama said...

Starting Dec. 1, you are allowed to recieve a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus each year. This is important since studies have shown that 79% of credit reports contain mistakes. To get your free reports, call, write or visit:

Annunal Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
1-877-322-8228 (toll free)
www.annualcreditreport.comNote that you will need to provide personal information to verify your identity. Also, you don't have to get all three reports at once. Once informed of a problem, the agencies have 45 days to correct it.

Karama said...

For information on loan making and the perils that sometimes result (particularly in GA), read this AJC article.

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