Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ways to Save Money on Credit Repair

Credit repair can get expensive. You’ll need access to your credit reports and credit scores during the credit repair process, first so you’ll know what you need to repair and then so you can tell if your efforts are paying off. Single credit reports are about $10 — add your credit score with your report and you’ll pay upwards of $20. If you want all three credit reports and credit scores, expect to pay up to $40 each time you order your reports and scores. Order all three credit reports and credit scores four times in a year, and you’ve spent $160.

Credit monitoring isn’t any cheaper. Monitoring for all three credit reports and scores costs as much as $30 per month. That’s $360 for an entire year of credit monitoring services.

There are ways to save money on credit repair by getting your credit reports and credit scores for free. Be careful with which method you use, some free (and cheap) methods end up costing you if you don’t take specific steps to avoid the cost.

Free Credit Report
Thanks to a law passed in 2003, you have a right to order a free credit report from each of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) each year. Though all the bureaus offer some type of free credit report, these aren’t the reports guaranteed by Federal law. Instead, to order this annual free credit report, you must go to AnnualCreditReport.com. Only your credit report is available free through this website.

Free Credit Score
CreditKarma.com is a site where you can get access to your credit score for free at any time and as often as you’d like. Credit Karma is sponsored by advertisements so you never have to pay for your credit score. You don’t even have to enter a credit card number! The credit score you get at Credit Karma is the TransUnion risk score and it’s based on the information in your TransUnion credit report.

Free Credit Report and Score
Quizzle.com gives you free access to your Experian credit report and credit score year round, but the report and score are only updated twice a year. So, if you order your credit report and score in January, you can view it until June, but it won’t reflect any changes made during those other months. Like Credit Karma, Quizzle doesn’t ask for a credit card number and won’t charge you to see your free credit report and credit score.

Using Free Credit Score Offers
After the Federal government introduced a law requiring free credit report websites to send consumers to AnnualCreditReport.com, these sites all started offering free credit scores instead. There are several free credit score websites around, so you can get plenty of free credit scores, but there’s a catch. All the free credit score sites only give you a free credit score if you sign up for a trial to their subscription credit monitoring service. You must give them your credit card number and cancel the subscription within the specified time period to avoid being charged. If you don’t cancel your subscription, your credit card will be charged for the service until you cancel it.

Expect to be hassled a little when you call to cancel the service – the customer service representative will try to talk you into keeping the service or get you to sign up for something else. Just keep repeating no and eventually they’ll cancel the service for you.

If you use a combination of these free credit report and score methods, you can monitor your credit history for free during your entire credit repair process.

About the Guest Author
Ed O’Brien is a seasoned writer in personal finance, specializing in Credit Repair. You can find more of his articles located at CreditRepair.org.

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