Why I Got Into Debt (And Why I Got Out)

There are many reasons people get into debt. They run the gamut from developers who borrow huge sums of money to try to make more, to people that just feel like they have no other choice. And everything in between.

Here are the reasons why I got into debt (and why I got out).
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How Many Free Credit Reports Per Year Can You Get?

How many free credit reports per year can you get? For 2021 and at least part of 2022, a lot.

That’s because of a special benefit the 3 national credit reporting agencies are offering due to the pandemic.

Until April 20, 2022, you’re allowed to get a free credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies every week if you like.

(See How to Get a Credit Report for Free for directions on how and where to get them.)

So if you really went all out, you could get at least 156 free credit reports in 2021. That’s great if you want to keep a close eye on things or are waiting for something to drop off or show up.

During normal times, the number is much lower.
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Debt is Not a Moral Failing

I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people talking about how they are ashamed of their debt. (Heartbreakingly, sometimes even to the point of considering suicide over debt.) So please listen when I tell you this: being in debt is not a moral failing.

Let me repeat that: being in debt is not a moral failing. You are not a bad person if you have debt.

You’re someone who has borrowed money.
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Consumer Reporting Agencies Explained

Consumer reporting agencies are companies that regularly gather credit and other information about you.

They create reports based on that information, and provide the reports to other people or companies, within limits.

The definition of a consumer reporting agency under FCRA is:

“The term “consumer reporting agency” means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.”

They are sometimes called CRAs.
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