Your credit: The secrets to taking more control

Readers write in telling us that they feel as though they have no control over their credit. They find out after the fact when someone checks their credit report and have little or no control over what's actually in that credit history. Here's one recent comment we received on that issue:

Do you believe we have a real say so in controlling one's credit? It seems like the credit issuers have the upper hand over the consumer. I want to have no more than two credit cards open at a time. I want the credit bureaus to contact me each and every time someone requests any info concerning my account. We have little control, if rules change to favor the consumer maybe the crooks will have a harder time with one"s credit. I want more control over what these bureaus do with my info. Do you agree?


The best way to get immediate control of who's looking at your credit report is to lock your credit file with each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You will have to pay $10 to each of the bureaus to lock your credit history and another $10 to reopen it if you want to let someone look at your credit report, but it does give you total control over the report. There are firms out there promising to lock your credit, like LifeLock and TrustedID, but you'll pay at least $10 per month for the service.