Don't Trust Your Credit Report!  Check it Yearly
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Don't Trust Your Credit Report! Check it yearly advises non-profit ICFE

Many credit reports contain errors serious enough to derail a loan

RELEASE: March 2002
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA.  Nearly half of all the credit reports contained errors another study showed. Don't trust your credit report, check it at least once a year and, if you are an active credit user and seeker, do it every six months," says Paul S. Richard author of a popular "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" and executive director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) based in San Diego, CA.

Many credit seeking consumers, especially home buyers, seem to underestimate the value and importance of his or her credit rating. The credit reports received from the three major credit-reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) contained inaccuracies with about the same frequency and degree of severity.

Errors and potential problems include: mistaken identities, misapplied charges, uncorrected errors, misleading information, and inconsistencies. Inconsistencies occur because creditors are not required to report information about you to all three bureaus. So a problem that fails to show up on one report may stand out in sharp relief on another as a warning flag to a potential lender. Prying eyes is also a potential problem for consumers because as few as four such inquiries for a credit-card approval over a period of say, 60 days can have a negative impact on your credit prospects, because they suggest that you may be aggressively trying to line up new credit to support unsustainable spending.

"If you discover mistakes in your credit files and need help, the ICFE publishes a low-cost "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" in English and Spanish. Included in the Guide are step-by-step instructions on the credit repair process, an explanation of consumer credit rights, and sample letters to use when communicating with the various credit reporting agencies about credit file questions and mistakes.

The "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," in both English and Spanish, is available for $10 each plus $2 postage. The Los Angeles Times Book Review calls the ICFE Guides "user friendly."

Send $12 to: ICFE U.S.
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070.
Or please call 619-239-1401 or visit the ICFE's Web site at: and order securely on line.
($2 postage is for book rate mail, add $2 extra ($4 total postage/handling for 1st Class Mail or Priority Mail).

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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