Whether we like it or not, the credit
score is emerging as the most important "number" in the
financial lives of American consumers. The FICO score is often the
major factor in determining how much consumers pay for mortgages,
refinancing, auto loans and credit cards, as well as for auto or
Despite its importance, credit scoring began as a secret system,
and has been shrouded in mystery ever since. In addition, there
is little understanding of the credit reporting system, which holds
financial histories on 210 million Americans and is the source of
data for calculating credit scores. One problem: the credit reporting
system has a long history of inaccuracy.
Through careful research and precise writing, Credit Scores &
Credit Reports, allows consumers to understand how these systems
actually work, and what they can do to improve their FICO scores.
Importantly, the book also describes how the system sometimes doesn’t
work, and how hundreds of thousands – if not millions –
of consumers have been frustrated in their efforts to correct errors
in their credit reports.
Then there’s the impact of identity theft, literally a whole
another chapter (or two).
The book explains why many consumers already are entitled to a
free credit report, and why it’s better to get their reports
now, rather than wait until a new federal law takes effect next
year. It sheds light on use of credit scores and credit reports
by auto and homeowner insurance companies. It shows how lawsuits
have been filed over some debt collectors’ credit reporting
tactics. It details the ongoing problems with credit repair clinics.
The book describes how qualified, professional help is available,
but that virtually nobody knows where to find it. Finally, it educates
readers as to their rights to accuracy and privacy in their credit
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