Vaughn's Summaries logo  Vaughn's Summaries

Economics Summaries
Credit Status

Free Annual Credit Reports
Compared

Have You Checked Your Credit, LATELY?
by Vaughn Aubuchon

Here is my experience regarding the checking of my credit reports.

I have not checked my credit reports for 12 years. I always pay cash. This has created problems for me, when I attempted to make a cell phone purchase. Cash would not do - a credit check was required. It seemed I had "address issues", since I had not contacted them for so many years. So I did contact them. It wasn't fun.

-

300

140

.
The Three Biggest
Credit Reporting Agencies

I applied for my free credit reports
at
Annual Credit Report.com
August 8, 2007

Credit
Institution
I
Made
Re-
quest
Online
They
Mailed
Res-
ponse
Res-
ponse
Time
I
Mailed
ALL
INFO
Re-
quested
They
Mailed
Res-
ponse
Res-
ponse
Time
Comments

Equifax logo
Equifax
PO Box 105466
Atlanta, GA 30348

8-08-07
8-18-07
10 days
8-30-07
9-08-07
9 days

NO REPORT SENT!!!
SEE Below --->

Experian logo
Experian
PO Box 9702
Allen, TX 75013

8-08-07
8-18-07
10 days
8-28-07
9-04-07
7 days

Address where I NEVER lived.
Misspelled MY NAME (in my address - OK elsewhere)!

TransUnion logo
TransUnion
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

8-08-07
8-18-07
10 days
8-28-07
9-05-07
8 days

Current address is STILL wrong!
Even though I got the report.

190 - 590

50

50

50

50

50

50

100



Credit Score Scale - graphic

top of page

Credit Score
With each of the 3 companies, if you want to obtain your "Credit Score", also known as your FICO score (Fair Isaac Corporation), you must pay $7.95. This part of your credit rating is NOT free. Various factors are used to compute your credit score, including on-time payment history, total current debt, length of credit history, and any new credit. Your credit score is one factor used by lenders to determine whether of not they should grant you additional credit.
Based upon one
online credit score estimate test, I am in the "Very Good" category.

False Information
There are 3 main reasons that false information can get into your file -
   1. Identity theft
   2. False information inserted by someone who does not like you for some reason - retaliation.
   3. Transcription errors by the credit reporting agency.
I have witnessed all three.



Talk to The Hand
The reporting agencies are the ones who have the wrong information, but it is YOU who must jump through all the hoops. I tried the Experian 800 number to correct the errors, but it is an endless loop of "telephone tree" commands that DO NOT ADDRESS your particular problem. One size DOES NOT fit all. I gave up. It takes forever, and does NOT work. You must write to them, since they don't want to talk to you. It costs money for them to talk to you - they just want you to become frustrated, give up, and go away. So I did.


Equifax Won't Perform (in my case)
To EACH agency above, I sent copies of my Driver's License, Social Security card, stamped Post Office Box Receipt, and bank statements with BOTH my old and new address. Even though this was MORE than they asked for, Equifax STILL refuses to send me my report. Instead, they requested the EXACT SAME information, AGAIN. Equifax appears to have "flow-chart inefficiency" and "lack of convergence" issues. Compare the 2 "Requests For Information" below.

-

About Credit Reporting In General - Personal Responsibility Means Nothing

1. Excellent Financial Responsibility = BAD Credit
In 1997, I swore off all credit cards completely. Since then, I have paid all my bills in CASH. Everything. Since the credit companies have no credit info on me, they assume that my credit must be bad.

2. No Credit = Bad Credit
Because of no credit use, and no credit-seeking, the agencies have not received any credit information about me. In their scheme of things, this equates to BAD credit. You are PUNISHED by not being an interest-paying debtor, and not supplying all your personal information for THEIR benefit.

3. Perfect Rent Payment Over 35 Years Means NOTHING
I lived in the same apartment complex for 27 years. I always paid my rent on time. The credit companies DON'T know this, and subsequently DON'T CARE. Next, I lived at another address for 8 years. I always paid my rent on time. The credit card companies don't know this either. All they know is that there is no negative info about me, which means nothing to them. It doesn't seem to count for anything.

4. Perfect Bill Paying Over the Last 10 Years Means NOTHING
For a decade, I have never been late in paying my auto insurance, ATT, Comcast, Coast Gas, Costco or the IRS. Or anybody else. The credit companies don't know this, and it wouldn't matter if they did. It doesn't count. ONLY BEING IN DEBT AND PAYING INTEREST COUNTS.

5. Punished For Financial Responsibility
I was forced to buy a cell phone. Verizon required a $400 cash deposit that is not required of others, who are burdened with substantial debt. They also charged me TWICE as much for the phone. So much for prudent fiscal policy. "Not a big interest payer? OK, then, we will just gouge you up front."

6. Get In Debt Now
I am now bombarded with credit card offers, especially from Capitol One. All of which are at exorbitant interest rates. No thank you. The only advantage of maintaining credit card accounts is that they allow you to GET MORE CREDIT, and become an even greater interest-paying slave to financial institutions. They don't care one wit about your own financial responsibility, because you are NOT PAYING ANY INTEREST. They only care about your responsibility TO THEM, ensuring your perpetual payment of interest to contribute to their profits.

350 - 450

100


top of page

Equifax Is Ridiculous
Fails to Acknowledge Information Supplied

 

FIRST REQUEST
Here is the FIRST Equifax "Request for Information" from me, which I not only promptly complied with, but I sent additional information, as noted.
Equifax Request #1.jpg



SECOND REQUEST
Here is the SECOND Equifax "Request for Information" from me, which is nearly identical to the first.
This is THEIR response to MY COMPLIANCE with their FIRST request above.
Why are they making me jump through the SAME hoops TWICE?

Equifax Request #2.jpg

BOTH requests were mailed to my correct address, and included the full address plus 9-digit ZIP code. The only difference is the last 4 digits of the Atlanta ZIP code, even though the PO Box number is identical.
WHAT KIND OF DOUBLE-HOOP JUMPING REQUIREMENT IS THIS?

I followed the rules. I did what they asked.
But DENIAL of my credit report is the result. Incompetence? That's my guess.


There was no such "do-it-twice" issue with Experian. I sent them identical documents.
There was no such "do-it-twice" issue with TransUnion. I sent them identical documents.



Good luck with your "Credit Check".
Mar. 2008 Update - It is now 6 months later, and I have STILL not received my "Free Credit Report" from Equifax. They don't give a damn about me, so I don't give a damn about them. They are money-gouging, incompetent buffoons, with no interest whatsoever in providing accurate information. Separating you from your cash is their only mantra. I'm done here.

584 - 600


The Big Three
Credit Reporting Agencies

August 28, 2005

Financial
Institution
Google Search
"company sucks"
MSN Search
"company sucks"
Yahoo Search
"company sucks"
# of
Empls.
Coun-
tries
Annual
Sales

Equifax

386
35
130
4,500
12
$ 1.4B

Experian

634
135
139
12,500
32
$ 3.1B

TransUnion

26
0
28
4,100
29
$ 2.3B

According to this particular "Google metric", which I frequently use,
TransUnion is WAY BETTER than the others.
And Experian is WAY WORSE than the others.

What is your personal experience with getting a Credit Report?

-

100 - 450

50

50

50

50

50

50




Disclaimer:
The above financial data is believed to be correct when summarized, in September 2007.
This report compares my results from the 3 credit reporting agencies, when attempting to get my "Annual Free Credit Report". It is not truly "free". You will spend a lot of time jumping through hoops. What is your time worth?
PLUS, you may not even get your report AT ALL, as was the case for me with Equifax.

-

top of page


Author Bio

Vaughn's Summaries
©2007, 2017 Vaughn Aubuchon
www.vaughns-1-pagers.com
All Rights Reserved
Site Map

This Vaughns Free Annual Credit Report comparison
chart was last updated on 2017-10-29.