What do you need to know about the 3 credit bureaus?

You may already know TransUnion, Experian and Equifax are the three national credit bureaus. Simple enough. But knowing more about what they do, what they don’t do and what you can do makes it easier to navigate the credit reporting system—which can save you time, money and aggravation. Here are 3 credit bureau facts you may not know, but should.

Fact 1: Each bureau produces its own report & score.
Each of the 3 credit bureaus produces their own, separate credit report and their own separate credit score. That means one bureau’s report or score may not look like another’s report or score, especially since some creditors may report information to one or more bureaus at different times.

Why it’s important:
To get a more complete picture of your credit, you should pay attention to your credit at all 3 bureaus. And that’s why, for example, TrueCredit offers credit monitoring for all 3 bureaus.

Fact 2: There’s no such thing as a legally required free annual credit score.
But many people think there is. You are legally entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus. But none of them come with a score. That said, when you get your annual credit report from one of the bureaus, the bureau may show you a separate offer for your credit score. That score offer may be free or carry a fee. It’s up to the bureau, but just know they’re not required to offer you a free score.

Why it’s important:
There are many good reasons to know your credit score—it shows you where your credit stands at any one time and it’s a quick way to keep up with your credit health, among other benefits. Just know you’re not entitled to it free of charge at annualcreditreport.com. Whether you can get free scores somewhere else or how much you’d pay depends on the score, seller and a lot of other details.

Fact 3: Knowing which bureau(s) to contact depends on the kind of issue.
Before you contact a bureau, it’s a good idea to know which bureau or bureaus you need to reach. And that depends on what you want to do.

  • To dispute something on your credit report, contact the bureau that produced the report.
  • To place a fraud alert on your credit files, pick a bureau, any bureau. It doesn’t matter which, because each of the 3 is required to notify the others about your fraud alert.
  • To place a credit freeze (sometimes called a security freeze), you need to contact each of the 3 credit bureaus.

Why it’s important Knowing which bureaus to contact can save you time, which is nice if you have a little time to save. But it becomes critical knowledge when your credit may be at risk or when you think you may have become a fraud victim. It pays to know what to do when every second matters.

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This article was originally published on truecredit.com.

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Taking Your Solo Business Venture To The Next Level

The business world itself can be a terrifying place, even for the most well-established companies. Having a business on your own can be even scarier. While it may be an unnerving notion, owning a business can also be far more beneficial when it is done solo.

Today we are going to look at some of the tools available for those solo entrepreneurs out there.

Image Credit – Pexels – CC0 Licence 

Go Virtual

If you control a solo business, one of the toughest things to convey is your ability to compete with the big boys and girls out there. Luckily enough, doing this is as simple as creating an illusion.

There are solutions out there now that can make your business appear far more substantial than it is. Taking advantage of something as simple as a virtual address can give you presence. There is nothing worse for a solo business venture than having a residential address shown on their business website. Taking advantage of a virtual address can not only place you anywhere you want to be in the world, but it can also offer you PO Box service.

Another solution that will marry up to your virtual address is the use of a VOIP. VOIP systems are essential in maintaining a sense of virtual growth for any business. Voice over IP lines can provide an area code for anywhere in the world you desire and have that number diverted to a cell phone. 

VOIP lines are controlled via an APP or a dashboard on your laptop. Having access to tools like this can set a solo venture up for success.

Keep Everything Secure

The one worry of most solo ventures are taking on too much. Obviously, for larger companies, managing large amounts of customer data are far easier than it is for a smaller business. 

Situations like this often put smaller businesses off taking on too much; after all, managing tons of data does present certain risks, these risks, however, can be managed. There are solutions like https://www.realitsolutions.com/services/data-backup-solutions/ that can offer a comprehensive service in keeping your data safe.

Also finding a solution when it comes to a CRM system will pay off massively moving forward. CRM systems are a great way of managing customers and their needs while you are out on the road.

Get Your Order Management Process Right

Something that often goes overlooked by solo businessmen and women is the importance of the order management process. This process is now and always will be the beating heart of your business.

The order management process is a staged design that should be carefully set out by you. The design should show everything from your client’s ordering to the moment the product or service is safely in the hands of the client.

Having this process mapped out is so vital as it offers a streamlining to your business and quite often offers automation solutions along the way. 

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Cutting Back On The Cost Of Driving

There could be several reasons why you’d want to cut your driving costs. A change in circumstances could call for the need to budget, or you could be simply looking to free up your cash for something else. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of ways you can save money on driving.

Take a look at some of the following ways to cut back on the cost of driving to give your finances a boost.

Switch to a more affordable car

Car payments can really eat into your budget, so if you’re looking for a simple way to free up money each month, consider buying a cheaper car. While having an expensive car is great, if you only need a car to get you from A to B, then something more affordable can just as easily do the trick. Buying a used car is one easy way to reduce your car payments, so why not shop around to help you find a good deal?

Shop around for insurance

Besides the cost of the car itself, car insurance can be your next biggest outgoing. It’s important that you shop around for the best insurance deal each time your renewal is up – you never know what kind of deals you could get from a cheaper provider. You should read more about finding low-cost car insurance so that you can get a better deal. Many providers will even offer a no claims discount, so if you’re a good driver with no history of accidents, you could save even more!

Drive less

One easy way to cut down on the cost of driving is to drive less. By carpooling or taking other forms of transport, you could reduce your fuel costs easily. Walking or cycling are excellent ways to commute to work, and as they are free, you could easily find yourself saving some money each week. Save the car for when it’s raining or you’ve got a real need for it – you’ll be surprised at how easily you could get by without one.

Go green

More and more people are looking at ways they can go green to help the environment. By investing in an electric or hybrid car, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment while also going green. Electric vehicles can be great to drive, and if you live or work near the city, it’ll be easier to find a charging point. Take a look at all of the electric vehicles on the market in 2020 to help give you a clearer idea of what’s out there.
Cutting back on your driving costs can easily save you money each month. Whether you’re saving for something in particular, or you just want to cut back, then your car and driving habits should be one of the first places you look. If you’re serious about saving money, then making some lifestyle changes is necessary, so don’t see cutting back on your car as a bad thing, see it as a positive way to take care of your financial future.

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