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Credit Card Security

Watch accounts closely when account data is hacked and report suspicious charges

Credit CARD Act of 2009

Here are the new rules enacted by the Credit CARD Act of 2009. The list is taken from For more information, visit,

Credit Scores

Identity Theft

Free Credit Reports

Every credit report provides four basic types of information presented in four different sections:

Information that Identifies You. This includes your name and Social Security number, your current address and recent past addresses if you have not been at your current residence for at least five years, the name of your spouse, if you are married, and the name of your current employer, and possibly some of your past employers as well.

Credit account information. This information is the heart of your credit report.  Account by account, it shows how you have managed your credit (deleted account)—credit cards and loans—over time. For example, for each account (deleted that is) listed in your credit report, there is information indicating when you opened the account, when you exceeded your credit limit, the amount of your current balance, the minimum amount that is due each month on the account, how often you have been past due on the account, whether the account has been sent to collections or written off, etc.

Public record information. Here you will find information about a bankruptcy you may have filed during the past ten years, court judgments against you, outstanding tax liens on your property and other kinds of information that may be in the court records.

Inquiries. The inquiries section of your credit reports indicates who has looked at your credit history. For example, a creditor may have reviewed your credit history because you applied for new or additional credit; a credit card company may have looked at you credit record information in order to decide whether to send you a pre-approved offer of credit; or one of your existing creditors may take a look at your credit history to help it decide if it should change the terms of the credit you have now -- increase or lower your credit limit, raise your interest rate, and so on. Also, an insurance company may check out your credit history after you apply for insurance or because it wants to decide if it should raise the premium on your policy.

To obtain a free copy of your credit report, click here. Remember, there are three credit bureaus and you are entitled to a free report from each. Stagger your requests.

Credit Bureaus

If you want a copy of your credit report, believe your identity has been stolen, or want to report incorrect or inaccurate information in your file, you should contact each of the credit bureaus. There are three major credit bureaus. Here is contact information for all of them.