Your Financial Family Portrait

I have been pushing people to get a current copy of their credit bureau report on a regular basis for a while now. It is a good way to have a snapshot of your credit accounts and payment history and a method to catch identity theft before it gets totally out of hand. To do this you should get a free credit report every 4 months or so. The government requires that each of the three credit reporting companies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to allow people one free credit report each 12 months. IF you space them out-one every 4 months- then you have continuous looks into your credit history and can make corrections in the report and changes in your financial dealings to aim for that elusive "850 credit score" often talked about as being the best.Access your free credit bureau reports at

Just as there is more than one member of your family, there are other members of your financial history family that you can and should be checking. A regular check of different reporting agencies is necessary to make sure the information that people gather about you is accurate. This can also help keep a look out for identity thieves. The Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a master list of 40 specialty reports. Find this list at .

Here are some of the most useful especially for tracking identity theft:

Lexis Nexis Personal Reports details public records and other information filed under your name including, property ownership, criminal history, liens and bankruptcy. Get a mail-in request form at or call 866-312-8102.

Check writing history:

ChexSystems- Call 800-428-9623 or online at

Certgy Check Systems-Call 866-543-6315 or go to

Telecheck/FirstData-Call 800-366-2425

Health Care is the new leading area for identity theft. Not only can it be costly in terms of money but also it can be fatal if your medical records are changed for medication you are allergic to, or need for life threatening conditions.

Medical Information Bureau – has coded listings of your reported medical conditions and tests. Call 866-692-6901 or online at Also, check with your insurance company for an annual statement of your health claims and treatments if you do not already have access to this online.

Milliman IntelliScript-call 877-211-4816 or go to for prescriptions histories in your name.

Optum MedPoint-call 888-206-0335 for prescription histories in your name.

Insurance Claims:

Lexis Nexis Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE)-See LexisNexis above.

Verisk A-Plus Report –call 800-627-3487 or online at and type "order free report" in the search box

Rental History:

CoreLogic- Call888-333-2413 or online at

This seems like a lot of work and time spent. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The average time and cost of repairing identity theft is 500 hours and $2000-$3000. Spending a couple of hours on the phone or online requesting reports is well worth it!