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Avoid Nasty Surprises: Check Your Credit File

During a separation, before a divorce is final, it is a good idea to contact a credit reporting company. For example, TRW gives a once-a-year free credit report to all consumers. Note that you are also entitled to a free report if you’ve been denied credit because of negative information in a credit report. To obtain a free report from TRW, call 800-879-8848 or write to TRW Complimentary Report Request, P.O. Box 8030, Layton, UT 84041-8030.

To obtain a credit report from the Pittsburgh office of the Credit Bureau, write to Credit Bureau, Inc., Consumer Assistance Department, P.O. Box 596, 520 E. Main Street, (Carnegie) Pittsburgh, PA 15230. Include a check payable to Credit Bureau, Inc. for $8.56. If you need a report immediately, send your request via overnight mail with a prepaid overnight mail envelope enclosed, and they will send your credit report within 1-2 days.

Include the following information for all requests:

  • Full name, including generations (Jr., Sr., III)
  • Current home address and previous addresses for the past five (5) years (including zip codes)
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Spouse’s name, and
  • Copy of your driver’s license, or other document such as a billing statement from a utility company, verifying your full name and address

Be sure all information is legibly printed or typed, sign your request and mail it to TRW with your verifying documents. Not only will you get valuable information about your outstanding debts, but also you will have the chance to make corrections should there be any errors in your report. The credit bureau will enclose information on how to dispute incorrect information in your credit file.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) counselors can provide budget counseling or help you negotiate with your creditors and set up systems to manager your finances. The local office in Pittsburgh is located at 309 Smithfield Street, 412-471-7584. The service is free and confidential.