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The Best Little Money Book

Tip of the Month

Specialty Consumer Reports

You probably know about the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) that provide credit reports. We recommend that you review your credit reports at least quarterly by ordering a free report, rotating from Equifax, Trans Union and Experian so that you do not have to wait a full year to get another free report.

There are other free annual reports called specialty consumer reports. These agencies collect and share information about your history in the following areas: bank accounts, the underbanked, use of payday loans, and insurance for automobiles, homes and rentals.  We are going to review some of the specialty reports listed here this month.  Next month we will review specialty reports for medical, rental and employment histories.

The reports that are free each year are underlined. The other reports are free only if an adverse action has been taken against you based on the information in the report.

Banking Services

Chex Systems collects information about your deposit accounts. Banks and credit unions use this to determine if they will open a checking or savings account for you.

Certegy Check Services collects history about a person’s check writing and is a screening service for retailers who accept checks for payment of goods or services.

Underbanked and Payday Lending

Factor Trust services the underbanked community providing data for companies who give short-term or installment loans, pre-paid credit cards, wireless phone services and collection agencies.

Clarity Services provides information to businesses that deal with high-risk loans such as payday loans and check cashing services.

Insurance History of Property and Cars

ISO insurance services collects information about insurance claims of homes and commercial buildings.

Insurance Information Exchange collects information about traffic violations and accidents.

For a complete list of Specialty  Consumer  Reports use this link: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201501_cfpb_list-consumer-reporting-agencies.pdf