FICO, credit cards and other musings

Well, I got my credit reports awhile back in the mail. The free ones your entitled to due to the law, however you still have to pay money to see you credit score. I swear the entire credit industry seems to be a racket, I understand the service they provide, but something seems wrong with the entire industry. Maybe I look back on some historical idea of coffee houses, with insurance and banking and people who evaluate credit based on knowledge of a person. Granted this idea would never work in the modern world other then a local credit union. I understand the objective nature of the data vs the subjective, the problem seems to be that the credit reporting companies have no quality control on what is reported to them, some companies report accurately, others send some data with errors. You can dispute anything and if no reply within 30+5 days (5 days for mail) the item in dispute is supposed to be removed. The consumer has to check their reports and dispute errors at least yearly otherwise all kinds of junk from people who are not even you seems to end up in the reports. It find it strange that someone can make money selling erroneously reports for a living; I say that because apparently the majority of reports do have errors. It’s like selling a house as new that needs to be fixed to live in. *boggle*

Well, I paid to get my scores to see where I was at compared to everyone else. When I averaged all three I was 763. I find it strange looking at my credit reports, it lists credit cards I do not not even remember owning.. must have been something I signed up for in college to get a free shirt or just errors. I have one payment that was 30 days late, off a Discover card I have not used in recent memory, in fact I canceled the card just the other day for that exact purpose and that the quality of service has never been good. The one late payment was due to Discover card not updating records.. IE I paid it before it was due but they did not process it till much afterwards… I gave up that fight and never used the card again. Looks like I may as well go ahead and dispute it now, though.

However, almost a year ago I lost my wallet and reported everything to all my card companies, Discover send me a new card as did my bank etc.. however, Discover card opened an a new account for the card. This explains why all my points disappeared on the Discover card when I checked but to make matters worst the one 30 day late payment is counted twice now by two of the credit reports. I will dispute that with them, since rather strange to count the same thing twice. New account, but strangely the credit history for the card carried over but everything else (points) did not.

I will keep my USAA MasterCard credit card and debit card, and my USAA AMEX. I honestly never use the credit unless I am buying a large purchase for the additional protection.

USAA recently contracted for credit monitoring for an additional five bucks and some change a month. Does anyone use these services? I tend to pay attention to my banking and would notice strange changes to my banking plus the bank requires phone calls for large purchases (when I brought my 50″ TV, I had to call them on the phone at Circuit City to approve the charge), plus credit cards only hold you liable for $50 as long as you report issues to them within a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable” may depend on your bank. Now, someone wants to take out a loan in my name.. I really have no way of knowing. I am wondering if anyone views the service as reasonable or a waste of money as long as you pay attention to what your doing with your identity.

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