What to know about your credit report vs. credit score
News from ConsumerReports.org:

Under current law, you can request a free credit report once a year from each of the national’s three credit-reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), but the law does not cover a free credit score. If you want your credit score, you typically have to pay for it. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is calling on Congress and federal regulators to change that, and make a free credit score included in your free credit report.

Many websites advertise a free credit report, but end up charging you. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site where you get a truly free credit report that’s authorized and guaranteed by law. The site was created by the credit reporting companies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Consumers Union has a new Web page, with useful information about credit reports, plus a petition asking the government to make a free credit score part of your free credit report. “Your score is used by lenders, insurers, and even prospective employers, to judge how great of a credit risk you are,” says Amanda Walker, Consumer
Reports Senior Project Editor. The new Web page, www.consumersunion.org/creditreport, incl…………… continues on ConsumerReports.org

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Unbanked? Here Are 4 Secured Cards That Can Boost Your Credit Score
News from MainStreet:

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Prepaid debit cards may be all the rage these days, but those looking to build credit are probably better off opting for a different kind of plastic.

Unlike prepaid alternatives, secured cards, which require customers to put down a sum of money upfront to cover the line of credit and thereby minimize the risk of default, can actually help your credit score as long as the issuer reports the information to Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. 

“Unless the disclosure statements specify that they report to the major credit bureaus, I advise consumers to call the issuer and ask if they report to the big three,” says Beverly Harzog, credit card expert with Credit.com. “It’s possible that a secured card issuer will say they report, but if it’s not to the big three, it doesn’t help the consumer.”

Harzog says that most secured cards backed by major banks or issuers are in the habit of furnishing the data, but smaller lenders may not, so it never hurts to double check. To save you some time, here are a few good secured cards that can give your credit score a boost. 

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard

Orchard Bank rem…………… continues on MainStreet

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