Consumer Smart: Managing Your Credit Score

CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - Alan Bligh with the BBB joins John Thomas on 3 News First Edition to talk about how to best manage your credit score.

Bligh recommends starting the new year knowing your credit is in good standing and that your credit report is accurate. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can receive a free copy of their credit report from each of the three nationwide reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — every 12 months.

Many television advertisements and websites claim to offer "free credit reports," "free credit scores" or "free credit monitoring." However, the BBB reminds consumers that is the only authorized source for free annual credit reports under federal law.

Additionally, the BBB reminds consumers that a credit report is different than a credit score. A credit report is a "snapshot of your credit use history" which gives a lender a view of whether you pay your debts back or not. Your credit score is a "number which shows lenders how much of a risk you are" in paying back a debt.

The BBB offers these tips for pulling your annual credit report:

  • Do not access the Annual Credit Report Request Service through links from unfamiliar websites.
  • Consider pulling your reports quarterly.
  • Pull your child's credit report.
  • Avoid companies that claim they can improve your credit for free.
  • Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report.

Scam of the Week

Bligh also warns about the scam of the week dealing with a Publisher's Clearing House promotion.

Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes' envelopes began hitting mailboxes this month, meaning scam phone calls and fake mail are soon to follow. The scams that always trail the famous sweepstakes involves a phone call claiming a big check awaits the recipient. A caller tells the person answering the phone that he/she has won a prize from Publisher's Clearing House. But first, the person must pay a fee to retrieve the money they have allegedly won.

Bligh warns that Publishers Clearing House awards its prizes by a personal visit to the winners' homes and does not charge winners to collect their prize. Bligh says if you receive any phone calls or emails from Publishers Clearing House indicating you have won a prize and need to send money, don't do it!


Tomorrow is the first of ten classes on Senior Fraud that the BBB and the City of Corpus Christi is promoting. The classes will be from 9:30 – 11:00 at the Del Mar Campus across from Ray High School. Call 698-1328 to register.


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