|By PR Newswire
|September 4, 2014 10:17 AM EDT
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- September is here, and the kids are back in school. Now, the focus for many people shifts toward the holidays. As you start to think about gift-giving, there is something you need to put at the top of your list, before you start shopping online or at the mall: You need to pull and review your credit reports.
"It's important to review your credit reports, to see if there has been any suspicious activity with your accounts," said Katie Moore, credit counselor from nonprofit GreenPath Debt Solutions. "The upcoming holiday season is a very busy time when it comes to using credit cards. If you don't track your credit, you could be in for a surprise when you start gift shopping."
GreenPath Debt Solutions, a nationwide, nonprofit credit counseling and education organization, reminds consumers that you can get a free credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus. If you haven't requested any reports this year, now is the time to pull reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
To pull your credit reports, log on to www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also access GreenPath support materials to help you read and understand your credit report. Log on to www.greenpath.org and search "credit report."
So what to do if you find fraudulent activities on your credit report? "If you find an error, you may dispute it online through the main credit reporting agencies," said Moore. "You also can call the telephone number on your credit report for assistance, if you feel any information is inaccurate or incomplete."
"You'll need to be specific, by including the account number of an item you feel is in error and explain exactly why you feel it is inaccurate," continued Moore. "Simply saying an item is wrong does not give enough detail to help resolve the issue.
"Investigations of disputed items can take up to 45 days, so if you pull your reports in September, you should be in good shape by the holidays," Moore concluded.
SIDEBAR - SAVE $300 FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
GreenPath understands that credit cards can be very tempting to use for holiday shopping, and encourages shoppers to set aside cash for gifts. "If you set aside $25 a week from September until mid-November in a special "Christmas Club" account, you could have almost $300 towards gifts, which will stay off your credit cards this holiday season," said Katie Moore, GreenPath counselor.
"By using cash instead of credit, you will have less to pay off when your bills come in January." On the GreenPath website at www.greenpath.org, search money-saving holiday tips.
For more information on GreenPath, or if you need help pulling and reviewing your credit report, log on to www.greenpath.org or call (866) 648-8122.
Keep up with GreenPath Debt Solutions online: www.facebook.com/greenpathdebt and www.twitter.com/greenpathdebt.
About GreenPath Debt Solutions
GreenPath Debt Solutions is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt, student loan debt, and bankruptcy concerns. Our customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals since 1961. GreenPath operates 50 full-time branch offices in 11 states. They also deliver licensed services throughout the United States over the Internet and telephone. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
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SOURCE GreenPath Debt Solutions
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