Getting Your Credit FACTs Straight

Identity theft in the US is ever growing, and more and more, the target is your credit. Tech-savvy thieves are finding newer, faster ways to obtain your information. But soon, the government is going to give citizens an easier way to protect themselves.

"The recommendation is to check the report once a year," according to Larry Lightfoot of the Brazos Valley Better Business Bureau. "I'm not sure if that's often enough."

But the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction, or FACT, Act will give every American one free opportunity a year to check their credit.

"The government looked at this as a way to get the public to monitor their own credit background, their own credit report, and if something came up, they can be alerted to it real quick," said Lightfoot.

Over nine months, the FTC is phasing in the new program. People in 13 western states can already get one free report. But on June 1, Texans and residents in ten other states will have the option.

Currently, you pay for a report through three major companies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

"There may be some agencies other than the three main ones that offer free credit reports," said Lightfoot. "We get deals on the computer all the time: 'Free Credit Reports - Click Here.'"

But Lightfoot says you should stick with the big three. In less than five months, keeping tabs on your plastic will be that much more convenient.

"It's just like a good house-keeping job," said Lightfoot. "You just need to take care of your house and make sure it stays clean and orderly."


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