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News from the Reference Desk

Why do employers do background checks?

This guide explains the why and how of background checks. It also tells you what can be covered in a background report, your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

By MPPL on September 15, 2011 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Jobs

FTC Warning on Imposter Credit Reports

The Federal Trade Commission has important information on how to obtain a free credit report, and how to spot “imposter” sites.
By MPPL on August 8, 2011 Categories: Consumer, Credit Cards

Employment based on credit history or credit no longer permitted

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted the Employee Credit Privacy Act, which prohibits the use of credit histories or credit reports in making employment decisions. As with most employment laws, the Act doesn't apply to all employers or all employees, so please take a look at what the law requires.


By MPPL on May 13, 2011 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Jobs

Credit Reports

You are entitled to request one free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  While prices may vary when requesting a credit score from these or other companies, the score is an additional cost and is not included in the free credit report unless ordered.




P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374


Request a fraud alert online, or call 1-888-766-0008



2 Baldwin Place

P.O. Box 1000

Chester, PA 19022


Request a fraud alert online: or 800-680-7289




955 American Lane

Schaumburg, IL 60173


To add a fraud alert or 888-397-3742


Sun-Times columnist, Terry Savage, recommends Consumer Credit Counseling Services (800-388-2227) for helpful advice to review your credit history or debt issues.

By MPPL on August 24, 2010 Categories: Credit Cards, Finance

Getting Through Tough Financial Times

Another of our MoneySmart Week programs, Getting Through Tough Financial Times, had some useful information we wanted to share with you from the University of Illinois Extension.  

Setting Spending Priorities

Managing Your Debt

Talking with Creditors

The Check Your Credit Report fact sheet

By MPPL on April 27, 2010 Categories: Credit Cards, Employment, Finance

New Credit Card Laws

New rules governing credit card companies went in to effect Monday, February 22, 2010.  To find out how the new laws will affect you, the Federal Citizen Information Center created these summaries and explanations:

  • A good place to start – the Gov Gab blog entry on the subject
  • Learn about the new features on your credit card statement, calculate how long it’ll take to pay off your card balance and more on the new interactive Credit Cards website from the Federal Reserve Board
  • Besides changes in credit statements, your prepaid gift cards will experience some adjustments as well, including extended expiration dates and limits on fees
By MPPL on February 23, 2010 Categories: Credit Cards