Did you know that there's a database out there that collects information about ever personal check you've ever written? Whether it bounced or was cashed without incident, ChexSystems knows about it. If it overdrew your account, ChexSystems knows about it. If you ever filed an insurance claim on your home or apartment, ChoicePoint's CLUE system knows about that too. Welcome to specialty consumer reports!
When the Fair Credit and Reporting Act was passed, it gave consumers the right to review any report collected by a "consumer reporting agency." For many, this mean the credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. That's why you can get a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com every twelve months. However, it wasn't until 1999 that the FTC issued an opinion that included companies like ChexSystems and ChoicePoint into the rules.
So, you should be reviewing both your specialty reports and your regular credit reports on a regularly basis to ensure that they are accurate and correct. If you don't, there could be some negative consequences for you!
So what should you check?
So remember, check your credit reports, your FICO credit score, and your specialty reports!
Jim is the editor of personal finance blog Bargaineering.com and writes about money issues from budgeting to investing, from credit cards to banking. To learn more, check out Bargaineering or follow Jim on Twitter.