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Get It Done: Peek Into Your Secret Files

By now, most people know that we're allowed a free credit report from the three major credit reporting bureaus once a year. (If this happened to slip your mind, please visit annualcreditreport.com to jog your memory.)

The complimentary data buffet doesn't end there. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to see all the dirt The Man has on us, including our employment, rental, and even medical history.

Like credit reports, we're allowed to peek into our consumer reports absolutely free once a year. (Note that you might not have a record at all of these. Also, some states have secured more frequent freebies for residents.) And, as with all things administrative, there are plenty of companies to do the report-pulling for you. It'd cost you $80 to let someone else provide you a one-time data snapshot -- but you don't have to pay a dime. Use this list to get your information for free, and put that $80 in your brokerage account instead.

Your privacy on notice
Over a long lunch, work your way through this rap sheet rundown and order your consumer files. (Trust us, it's much more satisfying than Googling yourself.)

Credit Reports

Insurance records

  • ChoiceTrust's C.L.U.E. Report: 866-312-8076 or www.choicetrust.com
  • ISO Insurance Services: 800-627-3487
  • Medical History Report: 866-692-6901 or www.MIB.com

Employment history

  • ChoicePoint: 866-312-8075
  • Acxiom: 800-853-3228 (option 3)

Tenant history

  • ChoicePoint Tenant History: 877-448-5732
  • U.D. (Unlawful Detainer) Registry: 888-275-4837 or UDregistry.com/tenant.htm
  • SafeRent: 888-333-2413 or www.fadvsaferent.com

Check-writing reports and deposit account information

  • ChexSystems: 800-428-9623 or www.chexhelp.com
  • SCAN (Shared Check Authorization Network): 800-262-7771
  • TeleCheck: 800-835-3243

For more on protecting yourself from fraud, read about:

Dayana Yochim assumes everyone is watching, even her GPS navigation system. That's why she's militant about using her turn signal, putting her hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2, and disclosing any financial interest in companies mentioned in her writings. By the way, she doesn't own shares in any of the ones mentioned here.


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