Personal Finance 
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Request Your CLUE Report

CLUE ReportsHave you requested your CLUE report lately? It’s one of several specialty reports you should be reviewing annually and today I requested mine.

CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange and your CLUE report details your seven year claims history with your insurance company. You have two CLUE reports, both of which come from ChoicePoint:

  • CLUE Personal Property Report: This report covers personal property loss history and inquiry history. This will include all insurance claims you’ve made in the last seven years that aren’t auto-related.
  • CLUE Auto Report: This report covers auto loss history and inquiry history.


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 Credit 
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New Credit Card Costs ±14 FICO Points

New Credit Applications!We recently purchased a Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 and have been scanning a lot of our documents to reduce the number of documents we retain. One of the documents we came upon were two printouts of my wife’s FICO credit score and credit reports from Equifax, through myFICO. Earlier this year she signed up for the trial to see what her score was and in between the two inquiries she applied for a credit card.

The first report was pulled in mid-March and she had a glowing score of 804. The second report was pulled a month later and her score was 790, still very strong.

The only difference? She applied for and was approved for a new credit card. It cost her fourteen FICO points.

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 Credit 
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The 10-Second Credit Limit Increase

I logged into my Citi credit card account online today to make some changes to my profile when I decided to try to get an automatic credit line increase. I figured I was already logged in doing other things, a few button clicks to see if I could increase the limit certainly wasn’t going to cost me much time. I swung up to Tools & Services and click on Request a Credit Line Increase. If you recently did this, the option won’t be there.

I clicked on it and this is what appeared:
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 Credit 
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How to Remove Unauthorized Hard Inquiries

Reader Christine recently left a comment on the What is a good credit score? post in which she asked how she could get unauthorized hard inquiries removed. For her particular case, it’s likely that she agreed to the hard inquiries when she “clicked on a link on some website that I do not even remember now and got phone calls from about 5 lenders. I had very enlightening conversations but decided not to apply.”

Whether you apply for a loan or not, when you request quotes you will have agreed to the lenders pulling your credit report. They can’t give you a rate quote without knowing your credit score and credit history. Reputable companies won’t pull your credit without your permission because it’s illegal (it violates this: Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 1681b(c): Transactions Not Initiated by Consumer).

But there are cases where someone could make an unauthorized hard inquiry and the solution is to send a “remove inquiry letter” to the credit reporting agencies.

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 Credit 
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MyFICO Coupon Code: SURVEY30

MyFICO is offering a 30% off coupon if you take their customer survey. I’m not sure how long the survey takes but at the end they give you a new 30% off coupon code for myFICO products. If you want, you can take the survey or just keep reading for the code:

SURVEY30

For my thoughts on myFICO, check out my myFICO review. If you just want your credit report, you can request your credit reports for free every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com.

The code is valid until December 30th, 2009.

You can look here for more MyFICO promo codes.


 Personal Finance 
17
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Annual Credit Report Reminder

This morning, I wrote about the importance of regularly checking your credit report. The hardest part about the whole process is remembering to request a report every four months!

So I decided to leverage the power of the Internet to create a mailing list that will remind you every 122 days (365 days divided by 3) to go to AnnualCreditReport.com to request your report. The first email will remind you to request your Equifax credit report today. In 122 days you’ll get a reminder to request your Experian credit report. In another 122 days you’ll get a reminder to request your TransUnion credit report. Then in another 121 (to account for the extra day), you’ll get a reminder for Equifax again. You can sign up using this short form here:
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 Credit 
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Review Your Credit Report Annually

Credit Card on a KeyboardThe Fair Credit Reporting Act gives us the right to see our credit reports every twelve months. I’ve written in the past that I like to stagger my requests so that I get one report every four months, giving me the most up to date information as frequently as possible (without paying for a service).

Reviewing your credit report on a regular basis, whether it’s staggered or all three at once, is important because you want to catch identity fraud and credit report errors (errors are common) as early as possible. The worst case scenario is when you discover a problem because a lender, who pulled your credit to make a loan decision, has questions about some odd entries. Cleaning up a mistake early can pay dividends down the road, especially since it’s free and only costs you time.

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 Credit 
29
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What is Credit Utilization?

Credit utilization is one of the most important components of your credit score, a three digit number that is increasingly becoming one of the most important numbers in your life. Credit utilization refers to how much you are using your available credit. Take your total credit balances, divide it by your total credit limit, and the percentage is known as your credit utilization.

Simple right? So why is it so important?

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